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I-League 2017: Chennai City FC 1-1 Bengaluru FC: John Johnson's own goal helps Blues drop points logo 08-03-2017
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Bengaluru FC helped themselves to their fifth draw of the 2017 I-League season at the JL Nehru Stadium on Wednesday evening with a 1-1 scoreline against Chennai City FC. After a dull first half, John Johnson (53') [OG] comically opened the scoring with a brilliant header into his own net. Daniel Lalhlimpuia (58') restored parity to save his side's blushes but that was not enough as the title-holders returned to dropping points in the league. Chennai City decided to pull out a few surprises by making three changes to the team that drew against DSK Shivajians. Out went Marcos Vinicius, Joseph Clemente and Haroon Amiri while Soosai Raj, Abhishek Das and Raegan Albarnas were given a start.

Bengaluru FC made just a couple of changes to the team that edged out Minerva Punjab in Ludhiana. Roca brought in Mandar Rao Dessai and Daniel Lalhlimpuia for CK Vineeth and Marjan Jugovic.

The game started in breakneck speed with Bengaluru fashioning a couple of early opportunities. Udanta and Chhetri combined well before the Indian skipper laid the ball off for Mandar who had a clear shot at goal but Echezona came up with a brilliant block to divert the ball for a corner.

Immediately after, Udanta sent in another cross which found Daniel inside the six-yard box. But before the youngster could sort his feet out, Echezona stole the ball away. The pattern of the game remained the same with Chennai holding off wave after wave of Bengaluru attacks.

Chhetri then played a one-two with Daniel before setting up the young forward who saw his shot blocked by Ravanan in the ninth minute.

Chennai City, who were under the cosh for most of the initial quarter of the match, slowly started gaining a foothold in the match and fashioned their first chance on the counter in the 26th minute. It was Charles who made the chance by outrunning Juanan and Nishu on a breakaway and squared the ball for Raegan who was a bit early into the box and couldn’t meet it.

Soon after, Echezona was called into action again to block a close-range shot from Udanta before Abhishek Das had to block a vicious volley from Juanan.

Just before the half-time whistle, a poor back pass from Soosai Raj gave Bengaluru a chance to get a goal. Daniel latched on to it and squared a pass for Chhetri who looked set to knock it in but for a vital interception from Ravanan who knocked it away at full stretch.

The first half ended without any goals with Chennai City. ​More to follow...

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