Paartalu’s header rescues a point for Bengaluru against Odisha

Bengaluru FC came from behind to earn a hard-fought point against Odisha FC in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 after a 1-1 draw at the Fatorda Stadium on Sunday. Diego Mauricio broke the deadlock in the first half for Odisha and Erik Paartalu levelled the score in the second period.

  • Diego Mauricio opened the scoring for Odisha in the first half.
  • Bengaluru equalised in the second half through Erik Paartalu.

Bengaluru began positively and enjoyed more possession, but it was Odisha that broke the deadlock in the 8th minute. A quickly taken freekick by Jerry Mawihmingthanga released Manuel Onwu on the right for the Spaniard to put in an excellent low cross across the face of goal as Mauricio applied the finishing touch with an unerring effort to make it 1-0 for Odisha.

The Blues tried to respond by attacking Odisha’s goal in numbers and they did get into the final third on quite a few occasions. However, the final ball or the finish seemed to be letting them down when they needed it the most as Odisha looked comfortable in defence.

The former Hero ISL champions though did come close to levelling the score in the 38th minute after a long throw-in into the box broke kindly for Paartalu at the edge of the box. The Australian midfielder managed to hit the target with his shot and forced goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh into a save.

Rahul Bheke also tested Arshdeep three minutes later with a header from a corner that required the goalkeeper to make a diving save. The Blues tried to maintain the pressure on Odisha’s goal but struggled to create more clear-cut chances before halftime as the Bhubaneswar-based club took a 1-0 lead into the break.

Bengaluru tested Arshdeep again early in the second half after substitute Kristian Opseth struck a venomous freekick from distance that was parried away by the goalkeeper. Gaurav Bora nearly scored an own goal while trying to clear the ball in 52nd minute but Arshdeep was switched on and saved the ball as well as the Indian defender’s blushes.

At the other end, Jerry could have doubled Odisha’s lead on the hour mark when Onwu played the Indian winger in on goal. Jerry went on to hit the target and test the goalkeeper as Gurpreet Singh Sandhu got down quickly to make the save.

However, Bengaluru were looking likelier of the two sides when it came to scoring. They clipped the crossbar through Cleiton Silva in the 67th minute when a freekick by the Brazilian had Arshdeep scrambling in goal.

Paartalu tried his luck from distance in the 75th minute only for Arshdeep to deny the Australian yet again. The Odisha goalkeeper though couldn’t do anything to prevent Bengaluru’s equaliser despite getting a hand to the ball seven minutes later. It was Paartalu that scored the leveller after he rose highest at the near post to produce a thumping header beyond the goalkeeper.

Both sides then had the opportunity to regain the lead but neither team could find the finish. Odisha’s Daniel Lalhlimpuia first missed the target with his effort from inside the box before Sunil Chhetri blazed his attempt over the crossbar at the other end.

Odisha had a huge opportunity to win the game late on after Mauricio put Jerry in on goal with a delightful pass. The Indian winger unleashed a stinging shot on goal but Gurpreet made a stunning save to deny Odisha.

The last big chance of the match fell for Opseth, who the ball came to inside the six-yard in stoppage time. Unfortunately for Bengaluru, Opseth couldn’t hit the target as Odisha breathed a sigh of relief and the teams shared the spoils.

Hero of the Match – Cleiton Silva

Cleiton Silva was the spark on the pitch for Bengaluru FC. The Brazilian clipped the crossbar through a freekick, created five chances for his team and provided the assist for the goal. He also made a successful tackle and was a menace to opposition defences whenever Bengaluru attacked.

Other Match Awards:

Club Award – Bengaluru FC and Odisha FC

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Manuel Onwu (Odisha FC)

Watch the Match Highlights here:


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