Bengaluru go top of the standings after narrow win over Odisha

Bengaluru FC moved to the top of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 standings after a 1-0 win over Odisha FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Wednesday. Juanan scored the only goal of the game in the first half.

  • Juanan put Bengaluru FC in the lead in the 36th minute.
  • Both sides had chances to score but couldn’t find the back of the net in the second half.

Both teams began the game at a high tempo but didn’t create any chances up until the 15th minute when Odisha had two opportunities to go ahead in quick succession. Nandhakumar Sekar was the first player to try his luck and the young Indian winger forced Gurpreet Singh Sandhu into conceding a corner after the home side had countered at pace.

The subsequent corner saw the ball break kindly for Jerry Mawihmingthanga, who dragged his effort wide of the target.

Some good build up play witnessed Bengaluru get a sight of goal in 23rd minute when Udanta Singh looked to cross into Sunil Chhetri’s feet. Chhetri seemed like he would get a clean strike away on goal, however, a strong tackle by Diawandou Diagne thwarted the danger.

The Blues went on to take the lead 13 minutes later and it came through an unlikely source after a headed flick on by Erik Paartalu found Juanan running into the box and shooting across goal to make it 1-0 for Bengaluru.

The defending champions had a chance to double their lead before halftime when Chhetri provided a perfect layoff for Udanta to attack inside the box. Instead of shooting, though, Udanta chose to square the ball as the chance went a begging and Bengaluru took just a 1-0 lead into the break.

Odisha started the second half with intent and nearly drew level straight after the restart. Jerry did well to put in a good cross in from the right but Aridane Santana failed to get his head on the ball as Bengaluru kept their lead intact.

Chhetri had a chance to make it 2-0 for the Blues in the 52nd minute but his first-time shot from outside the box flew over the crossbar. Odisha should have drawn level three minutes later when Marcos Tebar’s deflected header from a corner seemed goal bound. Gurpreet, though, managed to adjust his body and make a save before keeping the follow-up shot out as well.

Gurpreet was called into action once again in the 63rd minute after Santana set up Tebar for a quick shot on goal. The Spanish midfielder managed to produce a strong shot, but Gurpreet got his hands up in time to make the save.

Xisco Hernandez tried his luck from range soon after only for Gurpreet to make yet another save and frustrate Odisha further.

Nishu Kumar had an opportunity to guarantee maximum points for Bengaluru in the 70th minute after a cross from the right found him in the box. But Nishu’s shot ended up getting blocked and went out for a corner that Paartalu would have benefited from had it not been for a goalline clearance by Odisha to keep the Australian’s attempt out.

The defending champions then struck the post after a Dimas Delgado free-kick in the 85th minute made it through a host of bodies and hit the woodwork. Odisha, meanwhile, tried to finish the match strongly and looked to keep Gurpreet busy, even forcing him into a couple more saves before the final whistle. In the end, Bengaluru held on to pick up their first win of the season on the road and move to the top of the standings.

Hero of the Match – Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

The India and Bengaluru custodian enjoyed a great game in between the sticks and got his fifth clean sheet of the campaign. He made six saves, five clearances and was adjudged the Hero of the Match.

AWARDS

Club Award – Bengaluru FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Nishu Kumar

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Erik Paartalu

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Vinit Rai

Hero of the Match – Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Watch the match highlights here:

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