Bengaluru, Feb 11: An own goal by Bengaluru FC defender Sandesh Jhingan saw a spirited Minerva Punjab FC hold the reigning I-League champions to a 1-1 stalemate at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Saturday.
Sunil Chhetri had put the hosts in the lead with a superb strike in the 52nd minute but Bengaluru were denied the full three points when Jhingan’s attempted clearance of a cross by Minerva midfielder Kamalpreet Singh found his own net.
Bengaluru, who conceeded their first goal at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in this edition of the I-League, saw their all-win record at their home ground this season come to an end. Also Read-Manchester United return to top of football rich list
Bengaluru are now at the fifth place on the I-League standings with 10 points from six matches. Minerva are at the bottom spot on the 10-team standings with five points from seven matches.
Bengaluru dominated proceedings right from the start and their forward C.K. Vineeth got the first scoring chance of the game in the 11th minute but his attempt was parried away for a corner.
Minerva goalkeeper Arnab Das did well to block Chhetri’s effort from the resultant flag-kick.
The defending champions continued to create chances at regular intervals but Minerva defended stoutly to hold them at bay throughout the first half.
It took an excellent effort from Chhetri to break Minerva’s resistance. Udanta Singh’s cross into the penalty area was parried away by the Minerva defence but Chhetri smashed the rebound into the net from outside the box.
But the hosts’ delight did not last long as Kamalpreet’s cross from the right took a deflection off Jhingan and Bengaluru custodian Amrinder Singh was not able to prevent the ball from getting into the back of his net.