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The Winless Drought Continues: NEUFC v/s BFC

In the match no. 56 of the Hero ISL season 7, The Highlanders took on The Blues at The Tilak Maidan Stadium on Tuesday for the first match of their second leg and at the end the score sheet read one all. This draw happened to be the 6th one for the highlanders in this season, the most by any team till now. Luis Machado found the back of the net for the Highlanders in the first half which was then equalised by Rahul Bheke in the second half.

Both the teams started the match emphatically, the intent to win the match could be seen undeniably. Bengaluru FC had an upper hand when it came to ball possession and accurate passes in the initial stage of the encounter but right around the 27th minute of the game, King Gallego had something else to offer. He won the midfield battle against Dimas Delgado quite effortlessly and moved inside the box towards the goal post. Though his shot was not up to the mark but fortunately it turned out to be a fabulous assist for Luis Machado who was continuing his run from the left side and his sweet foot grabbed the chance and opened the scoring for the highlanders.

The Highlanders had a chance to double their lead just a few minutes after the first goal. Rochharzela , from the right flank, crossed the ball towards VP Suhair near the far post but unfortunately his headed ball looped over the crossbar, otherwise it would have been two-nil to the Highlanders. The only time BFC came very-very close to change the score sheet in the first half was when Cleiton Silva smashed it on a headed volley but Gurmeet pulled off a great save. The whistle was blown and that summed up the first half of the match. The Highlanders went to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead over the blues.

Right after the resumption of the second half of the match, BFC scored the equalizer. A short free-kick was taken by Dimas to pass the ball towards Rahul Bheke and he scored a goal which no one saw coming. Bheke took a left-footed shot and Gurmeet immediately made himself ready to save the ball coming towards the target but at the end he could not get behind the ball and it got past him. It was a terrible feeling for the keeper himself.

After this instance, the highlanders tightened the screws on and pressed hard into the BFC box. Gallego’s free-kick into the box was headed out for a corner by Chhetri and several attempts were made by the resultant set-piece but the ball failed to find the back of the nets.

Rochharzela was replaced by Ninthoi in the 65th minute, a like for like substitution and the India U-17 got involved immediately after taking over the charge to create goal-scoring chances. He crossed the ball to the far post looking for Dylan Fox but it was headed out for a corner kick by Khabra. Gallego took the corner but the ball was blocked and sent for a goal kick. The score sheet remained one all and at the end, there was nothing to separate the teams.

Had Gurmeet been able to put his body behind the ball, we might have celebrated a win after one month and seven days. Well, we just hope that the team gets back its winning momentum back as soon as possible and the bars are raised.

“Our objective is to get the three points but to play against Bengaluru is not easy. One point is good enough for us. This will keep the positive energy in the team and it will give us confidence into the next game,” said NEUFC’s assistant coach in the post-match conference.

Up next would be Jamshedpur FC on Sunday and we would love to break the winless streak against this very team which gave us the first bump of the season.

Up The Highlanders!

We Walk Through This Together!

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