Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chettri’s record-breaking strike denied Aizawl FC full points as the much-anticipated Hero I-League match ended in a 1-1 draw in Aizawl on Wednesday.
Both goals were scored in the first half, within a span of five minutes.
Brandon Vanlalremdika (40th minute) opened the goalmouth while Chhetri (45′) cancelled the home team’s lead at the stroke of half time.
Meanwhile, the goal added another feather in the talismanic striker’s hat as he leapfrogged Bhaichung Bhutia to score the most number of goals combining NFL & I-League.
Bhutia had enjoyed the lead until today with 89 goals.
Bengaluru FC did no less scoring an equaliser just five minutes later when Chhetri received the ball and shot it straight into the top corner of the box from about 30 yards away. The half time ended with the 1-1 tie.
Aizawl FC looked the better team in the first half with three shots on target while the away team had a single shot on target. Away keeper Amrinder Singh also saved his team in the 32nd minute when he successfully blocked a powerful shot by Alfred Jaryan moments after Al-Amna’s header hit the bar.
In the second half, in front of a packed ground, Bengaluru FC missed their chance to lead in the 55th minute when Chhetri stepped up to take the penalty which was punched away by Aizawl FC keeper Albino Gomes.
Just minutes before the match ended, Zohmingliana Ralte headed a free kick by Lalramchullova but that failed to see the back of the net and flew over the bar instead.
Aizawl FC maintain their enviable unbeaten record at home in the ongoing season. Though Bengaluru FC halted their four-match winning streak at home, the highlanders would be happy with the solitary point earned from the game.
Aizawl FC keeper was declared the Hero of the Match for his splendid blocks. Aizawl FC remain third in the table with 17 points from 9 matches with East Bengal and Mohun Bagan above them. Bengaluru FC remain stranded at the fifth spot with 12 points playing one match less.
Khalid Jamil, Aizawl FC coach commented on the match, “We deserved full points judging from the way my boys played.”
Bengaluru FC coach Alberto Roca opined, “We should’ve gotten more penalties, we deserve three points. We can still be champions this season.”