Marco Pezzaiuoli and Bengaluru FC fell to a strike from Bartholomew Ogbeche, in a 1-0 loss to Hyderabad FC at the GMC Athletic Stadium, in Bambolim, on Wednesday. The result meant the Blues’ search for a second win of the season continued, with Pezzaiuoli’s side in ninth place on the table with four points from five games.
Earlier, Pezzaiuoli made one change to the side that faced Mumbai City FC as Edmund Lalrdindika replaced Prince Ibara, who failed a late fitness test ahead of kick-off after an injury sustained against the Islanders. Bengaluru were also without Yrondu Musavu-King and Iman Basafa who missed out through injuries. Meanwhile, Manuel Marquez handed starts to Javier Siverio and Rohit Danu in attack, while former Bengaluru man Juanan Gonzalez marshaled the Hyderabad backline alongside Chinglensana Singh.
Bengaluru found themselves on the backfoot just seven minutes in when Akash Mishra stepped away from Naorem Roshan Singh and found Ogbeche in space outside the area. The Nigerian’s effort from 25 yards out took an early deflection before curling past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s far post, handing Hyderabad the advantage.
The Blues’ search for an equaliser bore no fruit as Pezzaiuoli rang in an early change, with Danish Farooq replacing Edmund just past the half hour mark. Bengaluru’s best chance came late in the first half when Rane’s quick reverse pass found Roshan in space down the flank but the full-back’s cross was found wanting.
Pezzaiuoli’s men started strongly in the second period, with Cleiton’s attempted clip tipped away by Laxmikant Kattimani within two minutes of the restart. Cleiton had another chance in the 56th minute when Ramires ventured forward and played it square for his fellow countryman, but the striker’s shot was saved again by Kattimani.
Hyderabad made changes of their own as Joel Chianese replaced Javier Siverio, and the Australian was denied a shot on goal only moments later when Suresh Wangjam clipped the ball away from his heels. At the other end, Suresh had an effort of his own saved by Kattimani only moments later. Bengaluru replaced Ashique with Parag Shrivas, who marked his return from injury, soon after.
The rub of the green continued to elude Pezzaiuoli’s men, as Rane saw his cross into a dangerous area hacked over by Chinglensana Singh before Hyderabad made three more changes heading into the final stages, with Marquez bringing on Sahil Tavora, Edu Garcia and Aaren D’Silva in place of Souvik Chakraborty, Juanan and Nikhil Poojary.
Bengaluru had a late chance to find the equalizer through substitute Sivasakthi Narayanan when Silva played the ball forward, but Kattymani came off his line to push the ball away from the striker’s tracks as the hosts closed out the game and the points.
Bengaluru next face FC Goa at the same venue, on Saturday, December 11, at 9.30 pm.