Sreenidi Deccan fight back to hold Bengaluru FC to draw in opener
8th April, Kozhikode: Sreenidi Deccan FC fought back from a goal down to earn a point against Bengaluru FC in the opening match of Group A of the Hero Super Cup 2023 here at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode on Saturday. Javi Hernandez had given the Blues an early lead but Faysal Shayesteh levelled the score for the Deccan Warriors as the Hero Super Cup kicked off in Kerala.
Sreenidi Deccan made two changes to their line-up from the 4-2 win over NEROCA FC in the qualifying round as Rilwan Hassan and Phalguni Singh replaced Mohammed Awal and Ramhlunchhunga. Bengaluru FC also made a change in defence as Parag Shrivats came in for Aleksandar Jovanovic in defence while Sunil Chhetri started up front.
It was Bengaluru FC who took control in the early stages of the game as Roshan Singh threatened from the left and his effort brought out a great save from Sreenidi Deccan goalkeeper Aryan Lamba. But the Blues made the pressure count and went 1-0 up in the 9th minute as Javi Hernandez smashed in a rebound from another Lamba save.
Undeterred, Sreenidi Deccan went in search of the equaliser as they found some joy on the flanks through their wingers Rosenberg Gabriel and Rilwan Hassan. But it was Afghan midfielder Shayesteh who scored the equaliser in the 21st minute as his effort from inside the box deflected off Bruno Ramires and beat Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the Bengaluru goal. Sreenidi finished the half strongly and the 1-1 scoreline was a fair reflection of the first half.
Bengaluru piled on the pressure in the second half but were unable to break down a stubborn Sreenidi Deccan defence. The Deccan Warriors also came close to scoring an upset win a couple of times but in the end, it was a point apiece for the Hero I-League runners-up and the Hero ISL runners-up. Young Sreenidi defender Bijay Chhetri was adjudged Hero of the Match.