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Sporting Clube de Goa hold on to deny Bengaluru FC

I-League: Bengaluru FC v Sporting Clube de Goa

I-League: Bengaluru FC v Sporting Clube de Goa

Bengaluru FC kept their unbeaten home record intact after playing out a 0-0 draw with Sporting Clube de Goa at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Saturday.

Definitely the side with more possession and chances, Ashley Westwood’s team did most things right but score. Sporting, on the other hand, were happy to defend and would be pleased with the point they will be taking home.

Westwood started with the same team that lost to Pune FC a fortnight ago and though a little ragged off the blocks, Bengaluru began stitching passes and switching play with confidence.

Sean Rooney, Thoi Singh, Beikhokhei Beingaichho and Sunil Chhetri – all had half chances that could have been put away as Bengaluru used the flanks like they always do – with authority. Playing with a high-line of defence that caught the Bengaluru FC strikers off side, at times contentiously, the Goa team had just a couple of tame shots on target from Boima Karpeh and Arturo Garcia.

Bengaluru refused to let go of possession and tempo when the second half began and Beikhokhei had a great chance in the 58th minute when he skipped past two defenders on the right but failed with the final delivery. Moments later, Rooney whipped in a delightful cross for Rino Anto but unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone to meet the right-back’s perfect cross in the box.  Sporting was stubborn in defence and had done their homework well to counter Bengaluru’s set-piece strength.

The 6000-odd crowd were on their feet when Sporting captain Matthew Gonsalves’ attempted clearance with his head ricocheted off his own team’s post before bouncing out to safety in the 78th minute.

The draw took both teams to 15 points from 9 games but didn’t have a bearing on their positions on the table from before this game.