Bengaluru FC squandered a two-goal lead to share points with FC Goa after the teams ended their Indian Super League opener 2-2 at the Fatorda Stadium, in Goa, on Sunday. Two headed goals – from Cleiton Silva (28’) and Junanan Gonzalez ( 57’) – put the Blues in a comfortable position before a brace from Igor Angulo (66’ and 69’) pulled Goa right back into the game.
Ashique Kuruniyan, who spent the opening minutes hugging the touchline, cut inside in the 7th minute, danced past two players and shot straight at Mohammad Nawaz from 30 yards out – the game’s first shot on target.
Cuadrat handed debuts to all three foreign summer signings in Fran Gonzalez, Kristian Opseth and Cleiton Silva. And it was the Brazlian, Silva, who put his stamp on the game when he nodded home Bengaluru’s opener. Taking over throw-in duties from Rahul Bheke, who started on the bench, Harmanjot Khabra’s fling was nodded down by Erik Paartalu before Silva pounced on the stray ball with a header of his own to find the back of the net.
In the thick of things, Silva then set up Chhetri with a deft back heel in the box but the Bengaluru skipper couldn’t get a clean foot on the ball as the Blues took their lead to the dressing room at half time.
In complete control of the game on all portions of the pitch, Bengaluru made it 2-0, from another move that began with a throw-in. Ashique’s curled left-footer in the box was nodded by substitute Deshorn Brown to Paartalu’s head. The Aussie kept his calm in the box and played the perfect pass to an unmarked Juanan who headed into an empty net.
But just when it looked like Bengaluru had begun shutting the door on Goa, the hosts turned up with two goals of their own in a space of three minutes – striker Igor Angulo on the end of them both. Coming off the bench, Alberto Noguera picked Angulo with a pass that beat Bengaluru’s last line of defence, and the Spaniard placed his finish past Gurpreet.
Goa’s second was once again orchestrated by substitutes when Brandon Fernandes picked Alexander Jesuraj wide on the right, before Angulo chested his cross into an open goal to make it 2-2 and bring Goa back into the game.
Bengaluru did come close on a few occasions in their bid to bag the winner, but it wasn’t enough in the end. The Blues next face Hyderabad FC in their first ‘home’ fixture of the season, at the same venue, on November 28.