Uttam Rai scored the equalizer as Dempo SC held Bengaluru FC to a 1-1 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa. Robin Singh opened the scoring shortly after the hour mark, only for his opener to be cancelled out by Uttam. While Dempo are closer to survival, all eyes will be on the ‘Two Horse Race’ at the top of the I League table.
Alwyn George takes Bengaluru apart; Blues on the ropes
The absence of John Johnson proved to be tougher than expected by Ashley Westwood. The long-ball strategy and the physical tactics of the Blues failed to yield any results. The failure of the Bengaluru tactics saw Dempo attack with a stern ferocity. Newly recruited Indian international Alwyn George was at the centre of the Dempo attack. The arrays of passing from the midfield, especially the likes of Lenny Rodrigues and Rowilson Fernandes well and truly put Bengaluru FC on the back foot.
The best chance came for the impressive Alwyn George as his volleys were saved by Lalthuammawia Ralte on both occasions. In spite of having 4 shots on target in contrast with Bengaluru’s 0, the first half ended with the score at 0-0. Shankar Samoingiraj was introduced at half time due to a hamstring injury to Thoi Singh.
Robin Singh opens the scoring
Clearly requiring a spark, Westwood introduced Robin Singh and Udanta Singh at the start of the second half. The introduction of Udanta Singh was a master stroke. The 18 year old began making inroads from the right wing and soon enough, the Blues looked like a threat once again. As a result, Robin Singh found himself on the score sheet. A teasing and floated corner from Eugeneson Lyngdoh saw Robin Singh head in the first goal of the encounter.
Uttam Rai seals the deal
Uttam Rai scored barely 11 minutes following Robin’s goal. Petrified of challenging for the ball inside the penalty box, Uttam Rai buried the finish past Ralte. The goal saw Dempo not only equalize, but also virtually secure their I League status for the following season.
Summary: Title to be decided at the Kanteerava
The Kanteerava Stadium will not only hold the epic Bengaluru FC vs Mohun Bagan match. It will be a quintessential final for the I League.