Two late goals in a span of five minutes helped Hyderabad FC secure a 2-2 draw against Bengaluru FC, thus extending the latter’s winless run to eight matches in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Thursday.
Bengaluru led 2-0 through goals from Sunil Chhetri in the ninth minute and Leon Augustine in the 61st. However, Aridane Santana pulled a goal back in the 86th minute before Fran Sandaza scored a 90th-minute equaliser.
Interim coach Naushad Moosa handed a first start to Leon Augustine while Harmanjot Khabra returned to the starting XI. For Hyderabad, Manuel Marquez started with Liston Colaco and Joao Victor.
Bengaluru suffered an early blow and were forced to make an early substitution after Juanan pulled his hamstring in the fifth minute. The Spaniard was replaced by Parag Srivas.
Soon, Moosa’s side got their noses in front from yet another set-piece. Cleiton Silva whipped in a precise delivery into the box. Chhetri lost his marker and jumped above the rest to find the back of the net.
Hyderabad were doing everything right except in the final third. Akash Mishra executed a one-two pass with Halicharan Narzary and the left-back crossed into the box, but none of his teammates could get on the end of it.
The remainder of the half saw both sides miss a couple of chances.
Liston used his trickery and quick pace to get into the final third, but an excellent Rahul Bheke stood tall to avert any danger as Moosa’s side walked into the breather with a slender 1-0 lead.
Hyderabad were much livelier after the restart. The Nizams pressurised the opponents, winning a corner. However, Santana couldn’t keep his composure, directing Hitesh Sharma’s corner into the frame. Santana had another chance soon, but was thwarted by Bengaluru keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Then, a defensive lapse saw Hyderabad fall further behind in the game. Hitesh Sharma misplaced a pass and Augustine darted into the box and shot with the outside of his right foot to beat the onrushing Laxmikant Kattimani.
Hyderabad, who dominated the evening in terms of possession and passing, finally pulled a goal back in the 86th minute from a counter-attack. Rohit Danu on getting the ball on the right flank put in a brilliant cross into the box. The ball took a slight touch of Srivas and reached Santana, who tapped in past the BFC keeper.
With just a few minutes left, Hyderabad went all out and had their reward. Roland Alberg miscued a shot from outside the box, which fell to Sandaza. The Spaniard took a touch before smashing past Gurpreet for the equaliser.