The two Indian Super League (ISL) sides squared off earlier today in Ella, Goa, for a pre-season friendly which ended in a 1-1 draw with players from both sides getting a few more minutes in their legs.
Wungngayam Muirang scored for Bengaluru before Sunil Chhetri missed the opportunity to increase their lead from the penalty spot. Ironically, Hyderabad’s new Spanish attacker Aridane Santana equalized from the spot in the second half in what was a tight affair. It was Hyderabad FC’s second pre-season friendly, having lost the first one 2-0 against Kerala Blasters when Rahul KP bagged a brace for the Tuskers.
Bengaluru, who started this match with an all Indian eleven, are supposed to play another friendly game against Mumbai City FC. There have been a number of friendlies that have taken place under controlled conditions in view of the coronavirus pandemic while a few are yet to be played out.
FC Goa beat Jamshedpur FC 3-2 in a high-scoring game with Ishan Pandita, Igor Angulo and Seiminlen Doungel all getting on the scoresheet for the Gaurs. Mobashir Rahman and new recruit David Grande scored for Owen Coyle’s men.
Sergio Lobera’s new look Mumbai City FC also ran out 1-0 winners against Chennaiyin with Adam Le Fondre scoring the winner. Odisha FC also have a couple of practice matches scheduled against Mumbai City and Chennaiyin as we build up to the season.
Some rusty performances notwithstanding, these friendly matches should provide players from all teams valuable match practice before the tournament begins on November 20. Most of the players have not played competitively since the nation-wide lockdown started in March and with the fixture list for the next couple of months already quite condensed, they will need to get match fit as soon as possible.