Bengaluru FC played out a 1-1 draw against FC Goa in match number 69 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season.
It was a game between eighth-placed Bengaluru FC and ninth-placed FC Goa as both sides were tied on 13 points before kickoff.
The match started with both ISL teams taking a measured approach as neither side wanted to concede first. FC Goa and Bengaluru FC slowly started building up attacks.
The scoreboard at halftime read 1-0 in favor of the Gaurs.
The second half saw Bengaluru up the ante in getting the equalizer. They created some good chances but were denied by goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem. Finally, in the 61st minute, skipper Sunil Chhetri gave the Blues the equalizer through a header from a Prince Ibara cross.
The final few minutes of the game saw some classic end-to-end action. Unfortunately, both teams failed to score any more goals as the game ended in a draw.
On that note, let us take a look at four things we learned from today's game.
#4 Return of Brandon Fernandes is a big boost for FC Goa
Brandon Fernandes made his first appearance in the ISL 2021-22 season. He missed the first half of the tournament due to injury as the Gaurs missed his service in midfield.
FC Goa have lacked their usual creativity in midfield this season, and a significant reason for that has been Brandon's absence.
Brandon didn't have much to do today as he came on in the 84th minute and didn't get enough minutes to impact the game.
His return itself will boost the FC Goa camp.
View the ISL winners list here.
#3 Bengaluru FC's midfield needs to be consistent
Bengaluru FC started with Iman Basafa, the Iranian midfielder, Bruno Ramires, and Danish Farooq in midfield. The initial midfield setup was too defensive, which didn't help them while going forward.
Playing with an all-Indian backline meant the Bengaluru FC midfield was more occupied in providing cover for the backline. They were unable to help the side in the attack.
Iman Basafa was substituted at the start of the second half, and Suresh Singh was introduced in the game. The substitution helped Bengaluru FC keep hold of the ball better and properly structure their attacks.
The midfield kept making silly mistakes which helped FC Goa regain possession quickly. Bengaluru FC will want their midfield to be more consistent throughout the game.
#2 Dheeraj Singh makes some world-class saves
Dheeraj Singh, the FC Goa goalkeeper, was fabulous today. The young Manipuri goalkeeper also featured in the ACL (Asian Champions League) team of the season for his heroics in the group stages last year.
Dheeraj made some stunning saves today to deny Bengaluru FC a winner. The way he commanded his defenders during certain situations was praiseworthy.
The diving saves from the couple of long rangers Bengaluru FC took will surely be part of the season's best saves. The save from Roshan Singh's shot was absolutely phenomenal.
FC Goa will need Dheeraj to keep performing at this level if they want to do something substantial this season.
#1 Sunil Chhetri finally gets his first goal of the season
Sunil Chhetri's form this season has been poor, to say the least. He had such a poor run of games that Marco Pezzaiuoli had to drop the skipper to the bench. He went 11 games without getting a goal, which also included missing penalties.
Today the wait for the elusive goal finally came to an end in the 61st minute. Sunil Chhetri headed the ball into the net calmly from a Prince Ibara cross.
With a goal today, Sunil Chhetri equalized Ferran Corominas record of 48 goals in the ISL, becoming the joint top scorer in the league's history.