ISL 2019-20, Bengaluru FC vs NorthEast United: Hits and Flops
Bengaluru FC came into the game as favourites but things did not go their way. A resolute defensive display from the Highlanders ensured that the Blues did not get a positive result from all the pressure they piled on for 90 minutes.
NorthEast United also came close to scoring on counter-attacks but could not find the back of the net, with the only effort from Asamoah Gyan hitting the post. With eleven corners to show, Bengaluru could not capitalise on their chances and have only themselves to blame for sharing points with the visitors.
However, there were signs of individual brilliance from both the teams which are to be mentioned. Few players could not stand up to their capability and failed to have the desired impact on the game. Let us have a look at the top performers from the tie and also the ones who disappointed fans and pundits alike.
Hit - Kai Heerings
The Ajax academy graduate had a decent debut at the back for the Highlanders. Kai Heerings and Mislav Komorski stood tall in the NorthEast United defence and did not allow the likes of Sunil Chhetri and Manuel Onwu any free space to exploit.
Heerings was tasked with marking Chhetri and he did a very good job. Chhetri was struggling to create space to shoot and move. The disciplined defensive display from NorthEast United spearheaded by Heerings forced Bengaluru to resort to wing play.
Ashique Kuruniyan and Udanta Singh were forced to play both as wingers and strikers for large periods of the game as Chhetri and Onwu were cut-off from the rest of the team.
Flop - Udanta Singh
Not a very regular name in the list of underperformers. Udanta Singh just could not match up to his actual capacity. He did get in some very dangerous looking balls but failed to set up any clear-cut chances for Manuel Onwu and Sunil Chhetri.
Singh also could not capitalise on the brilliant through balls provided by debutant Raphael Augusto. Augusto put Udanta through on goal on five occasions but the winger could not finish his chances.
Udanta also lost possession way too cheaply several times in the right-wing as Rakesh Pradhan succesfully contained him for the entirety of the game.
Udanta will hope to return to his best in the coming days, as Bengaluru FC aim to become the first side in ISL history to defend their crown.