Bengaluru FC defeated Odisha FC by a 2-1 margin in the 31st match of the 2020-21 Indian Super League Season (ISL), at the GMC Bambolim Stadium in Goa. Odisha FC equalised early in the second half, but the Blues nicked three points at the end through a fine strike from Cleiton Silva.
Bengaluru FC's Kristian Opseth missed a great opportunity from a Harmanjot Khabra throw as early as the 2nd minute. After that, Odisha FC kept exploiting Bengaluru FC’s high back-line.
In the 9th minute, Odisha FC should have gone 1-0 ahead. Manu Onwu put the ball past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu after receiving a delicious through ball from Diego Mauricio. However, the assistant referee wrongly raised his flag for off-side.
Just a minute later, Manu Onwu drilled in a low cross just between the defenders and the goalkeeper. But Mauricio failed to gamble with a sliding shot as the ball went away for a goal-kick.
It was after this worrying early period that Bengaluru FC started to make an impact in the game. They should have scored in the 21st minute on the back of a chaotic period when a number of their players took shots without finding the net.
The game then became quiet as Bengaluru FC were satisfied with passing the ball amongst their midfielders. Soon after the cooling break, Bengaluru FC opened the scoring as the duo of Harmanjot Khabra and Sunil Chhetri combined to repeat what they did against Kerala Blasters FC in the last game.
After receiving a superb diagonal ball from Dimas Delgado, Khabra whipped in an inch-perfect cross from the right flank. The skipper Chhetri rose above Shubham Sarangi to head the ball into the top-right corner.
The second half didn’t start well for Bengaluru FC as left-back Ashique Kuruniyan had to be substituted after going down during a clash with Jerry Mawihmingthanga. With a couple of changes being done by Cuadrat following the nasty injury, Bengaluru FC looked a bit jittery.
Midfielder Erik Paartalu did test Arshdeep Singh with a fierce shot, but the shaky period saw Bengaluru FC conceding three minutes later. It was a superbly-taken free-kick from Jerry that was put into the back of the net by the skipper Steven Taylor.
Just when it looked like Odisha FC would mount a fantastic comeback, they conceded through a great move from the Blues. Substitutes Udanta Singh and Deshorn Brown were involved as they set up Cleiton Silva for a superb finish.
Bengaluru FC finished the remaining 15 odd minutes without much of a scare as Odisha FC failed to create any chances, despite bringing on Marcelinho.
ISL 2020-21, BFC vs OFC: Who was the Hero of the Match?
Brazilian forward Cleiton Silva was named the ‘Hero of the Match’ for his fabulous overall performance that got Bengaluru FC all the three points. Silva has been one of the most impressive performers for BFC this season as he has taken to the role of a right-winger in fantastic fashion.
When Silva was announced as a new signing, it was expected that he would feature either as a striker or an attacking midfielder. But he has been used on the flanks instead of Udanta Singh. The strong forward has been helping Bengaluru FC move quickly during transitions and he has also come across as a lethal finisher.
The 33-year-old a different kind of player to Miku. But he has shown great signs of solving Bengaluru FC's goal-scoring problems by netting thrice in six matches.Published 18 Dec 2020, 00:27 IST