Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan played out a goalless draw at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru even as the visitors finished the game with ten men.
Subhashish Bose’s sending off 21 minutes from the end of regulation time put Bagan’s hopes of a valuable away point in jeopardy but Sanjoy Sen’s men could have very easily had three if, what looked like a legitimate goal from Katsumi Yusa not been ruled out.
Earlier, Bagan custodian Debjit Majumder was ruled out with injury as his place between the sticks went to back-up Shilton Paul. Jeje Lalpekhlua was also left out in favour of Darryl Duffy, while Eugeneson Lyngdoh was given a home start at the expense of Mandar Rao Dessai.
In the opening few minutes, Bengaluru tried to control the play in midfield with Bagan happy to cede possession but the visitors had the better chances nonetheless as they countered through Katsumi Yusa.
The Maroon-and-Greens had the half’s best chance when Yusa’s freekick was met by Balwant Singh with the latter’s shot saved by Arindam Bhattacharjya in the Bengaluru goal.
Lyngdoh, who was off-colour all night, was brought off for CK Vineeth and Salam Ranjan Singh took Nishu Kumar’s place as Albert Roca opted for more firepower up top.
The added pressure paid off with Bose being shown a second yellow for a stamp on Udanta Singh. Prabir Das then entered the fray as Duffy failed to add to his six goals this season.
Sunil Chhetri then slammed a ball against the outer netting which preceded Yusa’s disallowed goal. Sony Norde’s freekick was nodded in by the Japanese as Arindam went down as the referee deemed it a foul. Replays would show that the contact was minimal.
Both defences held firm as Bagan stayed third with 23 points, a couple of games and seven points behind leaders Aizawl FC, who drew 2-2 earlier in the day. Bengaluru remained fifth with 18 points from 13 games.
The two teams will meet again on the 14th in the AFC Cup.
Bengaluru FC 0 drew with Mohun Bagan 0