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Odisha FC 0-1 Bengaluru FC: 3 Reasons why the defending champions won the game | ISL 2019-20

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
04 Dec 2019, 22:47 IST

Bengaluru FC catapulted themselves to the top of the ISL table
Bengaluru FC catapulted themselves to the top of the ISL table

Bengaluru FC edged past Odisha FC 1-0 in a keenly contested encounter at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune. The win restored the defending champions to the top of the ISL table after they’d squandered a similar opportunity against Hyderabad FC, a few days prior.

The visitors looked confident from the outset and imposed their identity on the game quite early. The away side were willing to press the ball high up the pitch and that led to the hosts committing a few defensive errors.

Odisha, meanwhile, were content to press the ball in midfield, meaning that Dimas Delgado and Erik Paartalu enjoyed plenty of time and space in possession. Subsequently, Bengaluru began carving out a few chances, although they were unable to make the net bulge.

However, they surged ahead in the 37th minute courtesy a slightly scrappy goal. Nishu Kumar hoisted a ball towards the left flank where Paartalu headed the ball into Juanan’s path. The Spaniard kept his composure to stab the ball off the far post and over the line.

The hosts turned the screw massively after the restart but weren’t able to trouble the scorers, thereby consigning themselves to their 3rd defeat of the season.

Here is a look at the three reasons that enabled the defending champions to post a victory.


#3 Gurpreet Singh Sandhu stars in goal

Gurpreet was immense in goal
Gurpreet was immense in goal

A few days ago, Bengaluru FC contrived to let slip a one-goal lead against Hyderabad FC, despite dominating the match for large swathes. On that evening at the Gachibowli Athletic Stadium, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and his handling came under the scanner a tad, especially with some criticising the keeper for his ‘soft’ save that laid the ball on a plate for Robin Singh.

However, on Wednesday, the Indian custodian displayed exemplary reflexes on several occasions to thwart Odisha FC and help his side keep a clean sheet.

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In the first half, Gurpreet was on hand to parry Nandhakumar’s shot from outside the box whereas he also looked composed with the ball at his feet.

After the break, the keeper took his game up a notch as he produced quite a few telling moments.

In the second period, a scramble ensued in the penalty box off a set-piece. Firstly, the ball took a wicked deflection off Juanan, meaning that Gurpreet had to pull off a sharp save. The parry fell to Diawandou Diagne, who rattled the post from close range before the rebound interested Nandhakumar. However, the Bengaluru keeper pounced on the loose ball and ensured that the winger didn’t get a clean shot at goal.

Thereafter, Gurpreet churned out a couple of brilliant saves against Daniel and Marcos Tebar.

Thus, through the course of the encounter, the keeper had put to bed the ghosts of Pune and had set the record straight, courtesy a stellar display.

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