Bengaluru edge past Odisha, reach fifth to keep semi-final hopes alive

Bengaluru FC's Cleiton Silva scoring the equaliser with a perfect kick to score from the penalty spot, against Odisha FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at Bambolim, Goa on February 21, 2022. (Pal PIllai/ISL)

Bengaluru edge past Odisha, reach fifth to keep semi-final hopes alive

Bambolim (Goa), February 21, 2022

Bengaluru FC came from behind to defeat Odisha FC by a 2-1 scoreline in the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Monday.

The result keeps the Blues in the hunt for a semi-finals spot as they rise to fifth with 26 points, one behind fourth-placed Kerala Blasters FC. On the other hand, a third winless outing causes OFC’s semi-final ambitions to suffer a huge blow.

Nandhakumar Sekar (8’) pounced on a loose ball to score early in the game but Danish Farooq’s (31’) header levelled the score. Cleiton Silva (49’) scored from the penalty spot in the second half, which eventually separated the two teams.

Both teams began on a strong note, creating decent scoring opportunities. Bruno Ramires came close to scoring inside five minutes but his long-ranger swerved narrowly past the target. However, it was Odisha FC that took the lead after Jonathas Cristian found space behind the BFC backline but saw his shot saved by Lara Sharma.

Unfortunately for the Blues, the rebound fell to Nandhakumar Sekar who sent his team into an early lead.

The equaliser arrived soon as Danish Farooq scored with a header from Roshan Naorem’s corner at the half-hour mark. Kamaljit Singh misjudged the flight of the ball that gave the midfielder a free-header on the far post, leading to the goal. The first half had an eventful end with Nandhakumar coming up one-on-one with the goalkeeper. But, the winger managed to hit the side netting after dodging the advancing Sharma, failing to score a second.

The second half started on a poor note for the Kalinga Warriors, as they gave away a penalty inside the first few minutes of the restart after Udanta Singh was tripped inside the box. Cleiton Silva took the spot-kick and expertly sent the goalkeeper in the wrong direction to hand the lead to BFC.

Odisha’s quest for a second saw them make a few attacking substitutions, one of them being Aridai Cabrera. The forward fed Isaac Vanmalsawma whose shot was parried onto the right goalpost by Sharma in goal. Bengaluru FC defended resiliently in the final stages of the match. Despite getting an extra five minutes of added time, OFC was unable to find the crucial second goal and conceded the defeat.

Odisha FC’s next outing will be against top-four contenders ATK Mohun Bagan at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Thursday whereas Bengaluru FC also play the Mariners next at the PJN Stadium on Sunday.

NNN

Related Stories

No stories found.

Latest Stories

No stories found.

Trending Stories

No stories found.