I-League: Bharat FC hold Dempo SC to a draw
Bharat FC survived an early charge from Dempo SC before holding on to a goalless draw in their debut match in an I-League Round 2 match at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Saturday evening.
Bharat FC coach Stuart Watkiss will be a happy man to survive Dempo's onslaught in his first competitive match in the I-League, while the Goa team coach Arthur Papas will rue the chances his team failed to convert despite playing better football than the home team.
While it was the season's first match for Bharat FC, Dempo drew their second straight game goalless. Dempo is placed fourth with two points while Bharat FC has one point and are in seventh place.
Dempo were the clear favourites for the game as they took on the first timers Bharat FC. The first half was a goalless affair. Dempo dominated the proceedings as they began attacking right from the start. Dempo's Mandar Rao Desai came close in the sixth minute when Holicharan Narzary on the flank passed the ball to Mandar who pulled a good cross which went wide. The Goans had another chance to take the lead when Carlos Hernandez, who was a few yards away from the goal took a shot which sailed over the goal post.
Bharat FC also had a couple of opportunities when Steven Dias free-kick went straight to Mehrajuddin Wadoo whose header missed the target. Steven Dias got another chance when he took a shot directly towards the goal, it was then that Dempo captain Calum Angus came in between and his header ensured that the ball was out of the danger area.
Dempo continued attacking in the second half as they tried to take the lead. For Bharat FC, it was all about good defending which saved the day for the hosts. Both the teams got a couple of more chances but none of them made it.
Being the first game and playing against the Goan giants, Bharat FC did a good job of holding on and snatching a goalless draw.