Indian Super League, Round 2
After a winning start to their Indian Super League campaign, Hyderabad FC were held to a goalless draw by Bengaluru at Fatorda on Saturday. Here are a few talking points from this all-round display by Manuel Marquez’s men.
This match saw an impressive defensive performance from our backline as we registered our second consecutive clean sheet last night. Our headstrong defense kept the Blues to limited chances, with no shots on target. Adhering to coach Manolo Marquez’s demand for discipline, the boys stepped up and had no bookings.
Assisting Subrata Paul in keeping a clean sheet were Asish Rai, Odei Onaindia, Chinglensana Singh and Akash Mishra, all of who were impactful throughout the game. Asish put on a show with some noteworthy blocks and flying tackles from right back to add to some effective runs in the attack. He was particularly impressive in negating the threat of Sunil Chhetri down the flank.
Meanwhile, Odei maintained his composure and made some crucial interceptions to keep Bengaluru FC’s attacking trio at bay. He registered a 96% passing accuracy which is the among players who played the full 90. Akash not only made his presence felt at left-back but also contributed to the attack by making darting runs up the pitch.
‘Hero of the Match’, Sana was a strong force in the Hyderabad backline. This game marked his debut for the club and he was a key factor in his side’s solid defensive performance on the day. Sana completed a team-high 65 passes and connected well with the midfield and attack with his precise passing. His pro-active defending restricted BFC’s men from making critical runs and crosses.
The team showed immense mental strength after we lost two of our five starting foreigners to injuries before halftime. Joel Chianese was the first to leave at the 35th minute due to an ankle injury. Before walking off the field, the attacker looked dangerous in the Bengaluru half and linked up well with Aridane to create some really good opportunities.
Just before halftime, Lluis Sastre, who was potentially the most influential player in the first half, had to be substituted due to a hamstring injury. The Spanish midfielder created the best chance of the game through a set-piece where Aridane was denied by BFC keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Despite losing two instrumental players in the first half, the youthful team dominated the game in the second half against BFC who utilized all of their seven foreigners and their regular group of core Indian players.
As a result of the unfortunate injuries, Manuel Marquez was forced to send in Mohammad Yasir and Hitesh Sharma before the halftime whistle. Both the Indian youngsters, who came on as replacements, at a challenging time, filled in the positions effectively. Yasir displayed great agility and control on the ball. He also managed to create a couple of chances in the final third. Hitesh, on the other hand, excelled in his midfield duties by distributing and controlling balls in a constructive manner.