Hyderabad FC remained unbeaten in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season after they registered a narrow 1-0 victory over Bengaluru FC at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium, here on Saturday.
Bartholomew Ogbeche ('83) got the only goal of the game to keep Hyderabad FC at the top of the league table. With this win, Hyderabad now sit on seven points, with Bengaluru FC on four.
Both clubs went into this match undefeated with four points on board after two matches. The two sides were quite solid at the back in the first half with neither goalkeeper needing to make any saves. The two best chances of the half fell to Hyderabad FC's Javier Siverio.
The second one was the easier one -- Mohammad Yasir found Siviero lurking in front of the Bengaluru FC goal, and put in a perfectly weighted pass with his left foot, but the striker couldn't get the right contact with his head and glanced his header wide.
Hyderabad FC found some space on the wings in the first couple of minutes but weren't able to find the right cross. Ogbeche, who was the league's top goalscorer last season, was kept quiet by Bengaluru FC's five-man backline. Alan Costa, in particular, was impressive in his right centre-back position for Bengaluru FC.
Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chettri, who was making his 100th appearance for the club -- and became the first player to achieve this for a single ISL club -- showed his composure and quality every time he got on the ball, but Hyderabad FC did a good of making sure he wasn't being supplied with the ball regularly.
Jayesh Rane started his first game of the season for Bengaluru FC, but they faced the same ball retention issues again.
Hyderabad FC started the second half with more urgency. Ogbeche took a shot from range in the 55th minute and Halicharan Narzary came close three minutes later but the shots were wide. Javier Hernandez -- filling in for Roy Krishna -- also took a shot from range in between that period and tested Laxmikant Kattimani for the first time.
Javier Siverio had another great-headed opportunity in the 63rd minute but Gurpreet Sandhu was in the right place to deny him.
Both teams made some attacking changes with 75 minutes gone. Leon Augustine had come on for Siva in the 64th minute, this was followed by double substitutions from both sides 10 minutes later.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 83rd minute by Ogbeche, giving Hyderabad FC a 1-0 lead. Borja Herrera's corner was tamely pushed by Gurpreet Sandhu into the path of Ogbeche, who headed home his second goal of the campaign. That was enough for Hyderabad FC to get all three points.
Hyderabad FC will be hosting FC Goa next on October 29 whereas Bengaluru FC will be heading to the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar to face Odisha FC on October 27.