Hyderabad FC played out a 2-2 draw with ISL leaders ATK Mohun Bagan at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama, Goa on Monday. Despite losing Chinglensana Singh to a red card early on, Hyderabad FC managed to take the lead twice. But a couple of goalkeeping errors meant the Nizams had to settle for a point in the end.
The match got off to a frenetic start, with ATK Mohun Bagan centre-back Tiri bringing down Akash Mishra. Lluis Sastre took the resultant free-kick, but Odei Onaindia couldn’t connect his header. There was a big moment in the fourth minute of the game as Chinglensana Singh was sent off for pulling down David Williams. The decision came after Carl McHugh’s clearance fell for Roy Krishna, who headed it forward for Williams to chase.
Although Hyderabad FC went down to ten men, they were the ones to break the deadlock in the eighth minute. A poor back-pass from Pritam Kotal allowed Aridane Santana to steal the ball and take a feeble shot on target. The strike should have been saved, but ATK Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharja missed it, with two other defenders also failing to keep it out.
ATK Mohun Bagan soon got a corner-kick, but Krishna directed his header over the post. Subhasish Bose then delivered a superb cross, with Krishna managing to head it for a Hyderabad FC goal kick. The Nizams continued to tread on a thin line as Laxmikant Kattimani was forced to rush out of his line to clear Krishna's through ball.
After the cooling break, ATK Mohun Bagan broke through with a swift counter-attack, but a crucial touch from Odei Onaindia diverted Krishna’s low cross meant for Williams. Hyderabad FC also wasted a chance when Liston Colaco dribbled past Tiri, only to unleash a poor shot when Halicharan Narzary was free to his right.
The onus was on ATK Mohun Bagan to start strongly in the second-half. They did look threatening with Subhasish delivering a cross, but Victor managed to clear it. Manvir Singh eventually equalized for ATK Mohun Bagan with the help of a goalkeeping error. Williams came up with a defence-splitting pass for Manvir, who kept his effort on target. But Kattimani curiously ducked underneath the shot and let it go.
The Nizams soon restored their lead as substitute Roland Alberg came up with a cracking strike just minutes after coming on. A long throw-in from Akash Mishra was headed outside the box by Aridane, with an onrushing Alberg smacking it to the bottom-right corner.
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Lopez Habas made a few substitutions and his side finally made it 2-2 with a stroke of luck. Kattimani spilled Jayesh Rane’s shot, with Pritam Kotal poking it into the back of the net. An innovative corner-kick saw Williams producing a back-heel pass for Rane, who unleashed a shot on target. However, the goal shouldn’t have counted as a number of ATK Mohun Bagan players were off-side. In the end, both teams had to settle for a point.
Who was the Hero of the Match?
Hyderabad FC’s inspirational skipper Aridane Santana was the Hero of the Match. The experienced Spaniard bagged a goal and an assist in the thrilling 2-2 draw.
After opening the scoring, Aridane continued to work hard and won most of his aerial duels. One such header turned out to be the assist for Alberg's goal in the second-half.