The victory took the Nizams to the top of the points table.
Defending champions Hyderabad FC weathered off an early swarm of pressure from Bengaluru FC to emerge victorious in a hotly contested affair at the Kanteerava. Hyderabad scored three goals from just five shots on target in a clinical outing. Bartholomew Ogbeche opened the scoring with a unique free-kick routine that caught Bengaluru FC napping. Hallicharan Narzary starred with two assists, his second a pin-point cross to a dangerous area.
Bengaluru FC began the second half on the front foot but could not create a telling opportunity as Hyderabad mopped up everything thrown in their path. Joel Chianese came on to put the game beyond Bengaluru’s reach.
Here are the player ratings of both teams from the clash.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 5
Was caught wrong-footed by Ogbeche’s free-kick. Superb save to deny Ogbeche a hat-trick.
Namgyal Bhutia – 7
Picked up good crossing positions but the delivery was too deep on a number of occasions. Found Udanta Singh with a splendid switch. Created two chances, tied with Suresh, and put in six crosses.
Sandesh Jhingan – 5
Got stuck into the game early and marshalled the near post with vigilance. Received a booking for a lunge on Siverio. Could have done better to prevent Hyderabad FC’s second.
Aleksandar Jovanovic – 6
Played balls over the top of midfield to Sunil Chhetri and Roy Krishna with accuracy. Played on with a chest injury. Sat out the second half and was replaced by Alan Costa.
Parag Shrivas – 5
Got contact from Chhetri’s corner but could not divert his header to target. Lost the ball in the build-up for Hyderabad FC’s second. Played left back in the second half until he was replaced by Prabir Das.
Suresh Singh Wangjam – 7
Tracked back well to deny Siverio a shooting opportunity. Played in Chhetri with a clipped-through ball in what was Bengaluru FC’s clearest scoring opportunity in the first half. Grew into the game in the second half with unerring passes. Had the most touches with 71 and 83% pass accuracy.
Javi Hernandez – 7
Good one-touch link-up play in the first half. Was a constant threat between the defensive and midfield lines. Played deeper in the second half and hastened the transitions. Should be more clinical, with three shots off-target.
Danish Farooq – 5.5
Pinged passes around from central midfield. Was hooked off for Pablo Perez.
Roshan Singh – 5.5
Embraced his attacking role well. Came off for Udanta Singh.
Roy Krishna – 6
Without adequate support up top, Roy was often outnumbered by Hyderabad FC defenders rushing back. Did not have a shot on target.
Sunil Chhetri – 7
Welcomed in long balls from the back-line with good initial touches. Took corners from the left and put them into good areas. Was face to face with Gurmeet after controlling Suresh’s diagonal but the keeper was up to the task. Good passing percentage of 92%.
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Pablo Perez – 7
Made intelligent runs off the ball.
Udanta Singh – 7
Returned from injury to impact the game with his direct dribbling. Shot from his weak foot just off target.
Alan Costa – 6
Was kept occupied by Javier Siverio.
Prabir Das – 5.5
Filled in at right back and fed passes forwards.
Sivasakthi Narayan – 5
Returned from injury but came on too late to make an impact.
Gurmeet Singh – 7
Palmed Roshan’s cross/shot away from the danger area in the 22nd minute. Brilliant save from close range to deny Chhetri just before half-time. Was shown a yellow card for time wasting. Faced nine shots in total but the clean-sheet remained intact.
Nikhil Poojari – 7
Read the game incredibly well from right back. Closed down spaces quickly and was alert to clearances and interceptions. Had the most touches with 51.
Odei Onaindia – 7
Shadowed Roy effectively and was quick to block shots.
Nim Dorjee Tamang – 7
Filled in for Chinglesana Singh and did not put a foot wrong.
Akash Mishra – 7
Had to adapt to different roles in both halves. Was compact in the first half and got stretched out wide in the second. Adapted to both requirements expertly and did his defensive duties diligently.
Borja Herrera – 8
Was instrumental in creating the space for Ogbeche’s free-kick. His corners were pin-point and closed down his opponents well. Put in seven tackles, joint highest with Hitesh, and made two successful interceptions.
Hitesh Sharma – 6
Endured a quiet first half but was more involved in the second 45. Came off for Sahil Tavora.
Hallicharan Narzary – 9
Stuck to his attacking assignments well. Got the assist for the opener with a clever short pass across to Bart that caught the Bengaluru FC wall completely off-guard. Lovely cross from the left to set up Ogbeche for the second.
Bartholomew Ogbeche – 9
Scored the opener from a well-orchestrated free-kick with a driven shot to the bottom corner past Gurpreet. A powerful header down from Narzary’s cross resulted in the second after his interception.
Rohit Danu – 6
Pressed well in the first half. Was replaced just after the hour mark.
Javier Siverio – 7
Took a fall after Suresh’s challenge and clutched his shoulder in pain ever since. Crisp passing, particularly in the build-up for the second goal. Was unmarked from Borja’s corner and should have done better to head it in.
Abdul Rabeesh – 7
Was sent on to shadow Bhutia and did exactly that. Dribbled into acres of space and cut-back well for Chianese’s goal.
Joel Chianese – 7
Was quick on the turn and drew fouls. Killed the game with the third goal.
Sahil Tavora – 6
Shot high after Ogbeche won the ball, had time and space to measure his shot better.
Aaren D’ Silva – 6
Helped Hyderabad shut the game out.