Margao, Dec 11 (IANS) Hyderabad FC remained unbeaten in the Indian Super League (ISL) as they drew 1-1 against ATK Mohun Bagan at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday.
Manvir Singh had put Mohun Bagan in the driving seat in the 54th minute before Joao Victor scored in the 65th minute through a penalty.
With coach Manuel Marquez serving a touchline ban following a red card against Jamshedpur FC, assistant coach Thangboi Singto was in the dugout and the team made three changes. Subrata Paul was back in goal while Souvik Chakrabarti and Nikhil Poojary found places in the starting lineup.
Antonio Habas made two changes to the Bagan XI that lost to Jamshedpur with Sumit Rathi and Manvir Singh starting the game.
Bagan striker Roy Krishna and the Hyderabad goalkeeper Subrata Paul were outstanding in the first half with the duo at their best in their respective departments. While Krishna created chances and nearly scored his fifth goal of the season, former India goalkeeper Paul displayed his class and made his experience count, keeping his side in the game with some brilliant saves.
Bagan had their first shot on target as early as in the seventh minute, but Krishna’s low effort didn’t trouble Paul. Minutes later, the Fijian almost put his side ahead when he leapt highest to meet a Pritam Kotal cross, but his glancing header was kept out of the frame by Paul.
Yet another chance went begging for ATKMB when Edu Garcia’s free-kick found Krishna in the attacking third. He made a perfect run and got the ball on his stronger right foot, only to see his low shot go wide.
The half ended on an ugly note with a melee being triggered by a rash challenge from Bagan’s Prabhir Das on Nikhil Poojary. Players and coaches from both sides were arguing as they went into the dugout but they seemed to put that behind when they came out as there were hardly any flareups in the second half.
Bagan did not wait too long in the second half to take the lead. Forward Manvir Singh took on the entire Hyderabad FC defence with a meandering run and managed to smashed the ball into the roof of the net, less than ten minutes after the restart.
Arindam Bhattacharja nearly gifted Hyderabad the equaliser when he fumbled in dealing with Liston Colaco’s cross but recovered well to keep the ball from entering the goal.
However, ATKMB’s lead lasted just over ten minutes. Manvir went from hero to villain when he brought down Poojary in the box, forcing the referee to point towards the spot. Joao Victor kept his cool to score the equaliser.