Bengaluru FC put in a gritty performance to win 2-1 against top-four rivals Odisha FC at the Athletic Stadium. This result takes the blues to within a point of fourth-placed Kerala Blasters FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) table.

BFC Head Coach Marco Pezzaiuoli was delighted with his side’s performance in the second half and was pleased with the squad’s strength.

Odisha FC got an early lead following a goal by Nandhakumar Sekar. However, Danish Farooq equalized the score for the Blues in the 31st minute. Soon after the resumption of play in the second half, Cleiton Silva converted a penalty to give BFC the lead and in the end, it sealed the victory in their favour.

Also Read: Bengaluru FC edge past Odisha FC to keep semi-final hopes alive

Head Coach Marco Pezzaiuoli addressed the media after the game.

Here are some excerpts from his press conference:

You started with the line-up which probably is not your first choice. Why was that and your thoughts on the game?

All the players that we have in our group can be the first choice and I believe in my players. In training, everybody is very good and everybody who is coming inside is the first choice.

And why I did it today, we played three days ago and I wanted to have some fresh legs in the team. Against Hyderabad  Udanta was out, in the last game we had Prince out and today we have Sunil out. We have good strikers on the bench but to refresh legs for the season of injury and Yaya had the first game after almost three months break and I didn't want to have a muscle injury.

Usually, I protect players and that's why when the game is three days later I think it's enough to play thirty minutes and lower the risk of getting an injury. That's why I made this decision.

How important is this win considering you have only two matches left?

We talked before that we had four games, we lost one, now we won one. It's important to be still in the race. I told the players the importance for us to look in the mirror, you give your best and when we win it is good because when we look in the mirror we didn't give our best.

We cannot be happy at the end of the season, maybe we reach the top four, maybe not, but we need to look in the mirror and say okay we did our best in the season.

Sometimes we were unlucky and that you see after the season but I think let's enjoy the win today. 2-1, great goals, great penalty situation for Udanta, winning the ball in a pressing situation. The pressing was great. In the second half we won the ball out of a pressing situation and also I think, normally the foul on Udanta must be a red card. It was really clear he was not going on the ball. It's not the only foul. This was more than a foul; it was killing the legs. And that was not really nice. And I think there must be a different decision from the referee.

A word on Sarthak Golui who came back into the team after a tough personal time.

I'm happy for him because it's not easy when you have parents passed. He had our support. But in the end, it is him alone with his mother. And of course, he had a lot of energy you wanted to play earlier. But he was almost two months out and I tried to keep him patient, enjoy life, enjoy football, enjoy the training. And I think also the team give him a lot of support and also the staff members around and he felt well and as he deserved to play, to get minutes and that's why I'm happy for him,