Hyderabad held to 1-1 draw by East Bengal

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Hyderabad FC put in another strong performance at Bambolim but managed to secure only a single point from their tricky clash against SC East Bengal on Thursday. This was HFC’s third stalemate of the season and their second in as many games.

Amir Dervisevic (20’) was on the scoresheet for the visitors while Bart Ogbeche (35’) was back among the goals for Manolo Marquez’s side on a tough night at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim.

With this point, Hyderabad moves to 2nd place in the Indian Super League points table, three points adrift of Mumbai City at the top of the pile.

Having made a couple of changes to his side, both at the back, Hyderabad started slowly and failed to find a foothold early in the game.

A giveaway in the middle of the park and a foul just outside the box gave the visitors their first real chance on goal. And Dervisevic made no mistake as his thumping freekick was too good for Laxmikant Kattimani on goal.

But after the drinks break Hyderabad found some momentum and finally scored the equalizer. Aniket Jadhav’s inch-perfect cross saw Bart Ogbeche rise high and finish in style. This was the Nigerian star’s sixth goal of the season, as he increased his lead at the top of the goal scoring charts in this season’s Indian Super League.

Hyderabad continued to press for a winner on either side of the break, with Sahil Tavora, Aaren D’Silva and Javi Siverio introduced into the game. Manolo also gave Abdul Rabeeh an Indian Super League debut in search of a late winner but his side could not find the back of the net till the final whistle.

Aaren, Aniket and Nikhil Poojary all had a few half-chances that they failed to convert while Kattimani at the other end remained relatively untroubled apart from a few set-piece situations.

Rabeeh added some impetus to the HFC attack that resulted in a couple of late corners, the second of which was almost headed in by Bart Ogbeche with what was the final kick of the game.

East Bengal managed the game, constantly slowing it down and giving HFC no chance to gather any tempo and walked away with a point. Hyderabad FC, though, extend their unbeaten run to six games and will also move back to the second place with 12 points from seven games.

Hyderabad FC is back in action when they take on Odisha FC on Tuesday, 28 December, in a home game in Bambolim.