Bengaluru FC's winless run in the 2020-21 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) extended to seven matches after they played out a 1-1 draw with Odisha FC on Sunday. Erik Paartalu scored for the former champions late in the game after Diego Mauricio broke the deadlock in the eighth minute.
Bengaluru FC had numerous opportunities to score in the second-half. However, barring Paartalu's effort, they fluffed their lines in the final third. Sunil Chhetri was presented with a glorious one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper in the dying minutes of the game, but he skied his effort.
The frustration was visible on the faces of the Bengaluru FC players and coaching staff. Reacting to it, Blues interim coach Naushad Moosa said:
"More than me (frustration), I can see it on the players. They are trying a lot. If you see the second half compared to the first half, we created a lot of scoring opportunities. Of course, Odisha FC also did the same. It is just we have to keep our head high and keep going."
Moosa further added in this regard:
"I guess we should have won the game. Towards the end, we created scoring opportunities. What I see is that most of the goalkeepers are excellent against us. We are creating so many scoring opportunities. We are moving the ball well. We are creative. We have to be more compact defensively. We are giving away easy scoring opportunities for the opponent."
In the present campaign, Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri has scored just four goals, with two of those coming from the penalty spot. Against Odisha FC, he took three shots, but two of those were blocked, while the third was off-target.
"Sunil (Chhetri) is a mature player. He is taking good care of the team. I won't like to say that he is taking pressure. He is really working hard and keeping the team together," Moosa said on the captain's performance.
Naushad Moosa feels Bengaluru FC can still qualify for the playoffs
Bengaluru FC currently occupy the seventh spot in ISL table with 14 points from 13 matches. Jamshedpur FC and Kerala Blasters, who occupy the eighth and ninth positions respectively, also have the same number of points. When asked where Bengaluru FC would finish in the league stages, Naushad Moosa replied:
"Let's be more practical. For the top spot, not really. For the playoffs, it's always an open thing. Other than ATK (Mohun Bagan) and Mumbai (City FC), everything is open. We were almost there if we won the game, with Hyderabad FC getting a draw today. Still, we have seven games in hand. We can always be positive."
Bengaluru FC will next take on fourth-placed Hyderabad FC on Thursday.