Hyderabad FC (HFC), which lost a man early, showed great character and application to draw with table-topper ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) 2-2 in a 19th round ISL match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Monday.
In what turned out to be a see-saw contest, Hyderabad took the lead in the eighth minute though an opportunistic goal from Aridane Santana before Manvir Singh levelled for ATKMB after the break. Substitute Roland Alberg put Hyderabad back in front midway through the second half but an added-time goal by Bagan defender Pritam Kotal ended the former’s hopes of a win.
A red card and goal described the opening half as Hyderabad tried to establish its dominance over the current leader. Hyderabad lost Chinglensana Singh in the fourth minute after the defender brought down Bagan forward David Williams, who was looking to get in a threatening position.
HFC was quick to regroup and, despite the deficit in numbers, took the fight to Mohun Bagan. Hyderabad was in the lead in the eighth minute as Mohun Bagan’s defence crumbled under some resolute attacking. A horrible misunderstanding between right-back Kotal and centre-back Tiri saw the HFC captain Aridane lapping up a free ball and placing it without hesitation in the far corner of the Mohun Bagan goal.
Stunned by the reverse, Mohun Bagan tried to get the equaliser but had to wait till the 57th minute when Manvir found the target with a nice finish.
Hyderabad regained the lead off a fantastic volley from Alberg in the 75th minute before Mohun Bagan produced yet another last gasp goal to spoil HFC’s party.
The result: Hyderabad FC 2 (Aridane Santana 8, Roland Alberg 75) drew with ATK Mohun Bagan (Manvir Singh 57, Pritam Kotal 90+2).
Tuesday’s match: SC East Bengal v NorthEast United, 7.30 p.m.