2020-21 Indian Super League, Regular Season

ISL 2020-21: Bengaluru FC and Hyderabad FC battle to uneventful draw

Aridane Santana goes up for a header v Bengaluru FC Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for ISL

Bengaluru FC had 0 shots on target. Hyderabad FC had 1. In a game that ended goalless, that stat tells you everything.

It was a tense, cagey affair, with Hyderabad forcing the play for most phases, dominating possession (55%) and forcing most of the chances and half-chances the game saw. They had 12 shots on goal to Bengaluru's three but most of the 12 were low percentage long - rangers that Gurpreet Singh Sandhu saw over comfortably.

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The one attempt on target, though, drew a sensational save from Sandhu. Aridane Santana comprehensively beat Juanan in the air to turn a powerful header goalward, but it was just a little too close to Sandhu who pulled off a stunner. That came in the 23rd minute but the Bengaluru FC was untroubled thereafter.

Hyderabad played much the better football, with the introductions of Liston Colaco for the last ten minutes especially giving them some real drive. Manuel Roca has transformed this team from the lackluster one that debuted last season. This is now two cleansheets in two, after a season spent without one.

They will have their worries, though, with Luis Sastre pulling his hamstring and Joel Chianese twisting his ankle. A thin-squad (on paper) can ill afford long-term injuries to their star foreign players.

Bengaluru's worries, meanwhile, will centre on getting the team to string a coherent move or two together moving forward. They were poor in attack, and while that redoubtable defence held strong Carles Cuadrat will be worried. Sunil Chhetri barely touched the ball, and neither did Cleiton Silva. Krisitan Opseth disappointed, much like his first game, and so did his replacement Deshorn Brown. Before their match against Chennaiyin on Friday, December 4, the coaching staff have their work cut out.

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At the end of it all, Cuadrat stormed onto the pitch to berate the officials - there was more fire and vim in that tirade than his team's performance. And that should worry him.