Odisha FC, unlike their opponents Bengaluru FC, still have to establish themselves amongst the big boys of the Indian Super League. Bengaluru FC, having won their previous fixture against NorthEast United FC, came into this match with a lot of confidence. However, they were defeated 3-1 by Odisha.
Earlier this year, Kiko Ramirez was appointed as the head coach of Odisha FC before the start of the season. The aim for the Juggernauts was to field a better side in the tournament. Odisha FC were up against Bengaluru FC in their season opener in the eighth edition of the ISL.
Against the beliefs of many, Odisha FC put on display a terrific performance to hand Bengaluru FC their first loss of the season. A Javi Hernandez brace and a finishing touch by Aridai Cabrera were enough to put the game to bed. Meanwhile, Alan Costa scored Bengaluru's only goal in the game.
Let's take a look at the four things we learned from this ISL encounter.
#4 Defensive solidarity in Odisha FC
Odisha FC look to be playing a flat 4-4-2 while defending and were very compact centrally. Their wingbacks, Hendry and Lalruatthara, were effective in making Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh's lives difficult.
Bengaluru FC had the tall and strong Prince Ibarra leading the attack. But a failure to supply him with enough crosses through the wings put him out of the game.
Goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh was as good as a wall for the Juggernauts. He kept away almost anything that managed to cross Odisha FC's backline.
#3 Javier Hernandez, an engine in midfield for the Juggernauts
Javier Hernandez has featured in the ISL on previous occasions for Kolkata giants ATK Mohun Bagan. He had an excellent debut for the Juggernauts.
Scoring a brace was not the only remarkable thing he did. He also covered a decent amount of ground playing behind Jonathas De Jesus and was impactful at disrupting Bengaluru FC's build-up. Javier, along with teammate Jonathas, forced the Bengaluru FC centre-back pairing to play long balls.
Click here to view the updated ISL 2021 point table.
#2 Odisha FC's counter-attacks
The Juggernauts deployed their on-point counter-attacking strategy against Bengaluru FC. Their wingers, Nandha and Jerry, kept finding space behind the space left behind by the Bengaluru wing-backs.
The two central midfielders partnering Javier Hernandez, Vinit and Thoiba Singh were also very composed on the ball during transitions. The one-twos played in the center of the park allowed them to open up space between Bengaluru FC's midfield and defense.
#1 Lack of creativity from Bengaluru FC without Cleiton's involvement
The Blues of Bengaluru seemed to lack the creativity to rip open the Odisha FC defense. Unlike in the match against NorthEast United FC, where the players looked much more involved, this ISL fixture looked like a bad day at the office.
Cleiton Silva has been one of the main goalscoring outlets for Bengaluru FC. Since he was on the bench, the side seemed to struggle to create chances.
The Bengaluru FC boys looked a shadow of their previous outing against the Islanders. It was evident in everything, be it positioning as a form of support to their teammates or movement off the ball.