Punjab FC and Bangladesh Army FT play out a goalless draw -

Punjab FC and Bangladesh Army FT play out a goalless draw

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Khel Today Bureau 

Kolkata: Punjab FC (PFC) and Bangladesh Army Football Team (BAFT) played out a goalless draw in a group A fixture of the 132nd  Durand Cup which was played here at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharathi Krirangan. This is BAFT’s second draw in the tournament against an ISL side after they had drawn against East Bengal. With this draw BAFT have completed their group engagements with two points from three matches while Punjab FC have 1 point from two matches.

All 43 games of the 132nd  Durand Cup are being telecast LIVE on Sony Sports Ten 2 channels as well as livestreamed on SonyLIV

Punjab FC Head Coach Staikos Vergetis made eight changes to the starting lineup after their loss to Mohun Bagan with only Nikhil Prabhu, Melroy Assisi and Amarjit Singh Kiyam retaining their places. Bangladesh Army Football Team Head Coach Abdur Razzaque named an unchanged side which drew their previous game against East Bengal.

Punjab FC dominated possession from the start of the half with Juan Mera controlling the game in the midfield supported by Amarjit Kiyam and Maheson Singh. The BAFT defence were resilient and defended deep in their own half. Punjab tried to beat the tight defence with shot passes as the wing backs Nitesh Darjee and Abhishek Singh joining the attacks along with centre forward Daniel Lalhimpuia. BAFT were content to play on the counter and used the set pieces well to create chances. The first real chance of the game came for Punjab FC through some intricate play which found Daniel Lalhimpuia whose shot was saved by BAFT keeper Ashraful Islam Rana. The best chance of the half came when Bangladesh captain Mehedi Hasan’s header back to his keeper was short and Daniel pounced on the opportunity but his shot was brilliantly saved by the BAFT keeper. The best moment for BAFT came when left back Md. Kamrul Islam’s pile driver of a shot was saved acrobatically by PFC goalkeeper Ravi Kumar. BAFT forced the PFC attackers to take attempts outside the box as they found it difficult to penetrate the defence as the match remained goalless at the lemon break.

Staikos Vergetis introduced Kingslee Fernandes and Ranjeet Singh Pandre instead of Maheson Singh and Juan Mera in the second half. PFC intensified their attack with Samuel Kynshi Lyngdoh shifting to the right wing. Daniel had a chance to score again from a cross by left back Nitesh Darjee but his shot went wide. BAFT continued to defend resiliently, not allowing Punjab FC to create any clear cut chances. They put multiple men behind each attack which made it tough for the PFC attackers to break down the defence. PFC lacked any sort of creativity even with having 64% possession. In the end both teams had to be satisfied with a point each.

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