Bengaluru FC still has a chance to dominate in the semifinal playoffs after their win against Odisha FC on Monday at the Bambolim Athletic Stadium. They won with a slim margin of 2-1, taking their place in the fifth spot at the Indian Super League rankings. With 26 points, Bengaluru stands a rank below the Kerala Blasters and above Mumbai City. Odisha still has hope despite their defeat, but only if they win the rest of their remaining matches for this ISL season.
Odisha opened the game with a lead from Nandhakumar Sekar, with Danish Farooq scoring the equaliser for Bengaluru. Cleiton Silva scored the last of the two goals for their team.
Bengaluru Beats Odisha
The match started strong for both teams, with Bengaluru’s Bruno Ramires almost taking the lead within five minutes of the game. He kicked a long shot that unfortunately missed the net. Odisha struck back with certainty as Nandhakumar Sekar secured the lead after Bengaluru goalkeeper Lara Sharma blocked Jonathas de Jesus’ attempt to take the lead as his own. As the ball rebounded, Sekar made sure that the ball found the back of the net for his team.
Danish Farooq found the equaliser at the half-hour mark with his header, assisted by Roshan Naorem’s smooth delivery of the ball. There was a miscalculation on the part of Odisha’s goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh who allowed the ball to find the net after his decision to charge off the line.
The first half ended with Nandhakumar Sekar attempting to score another goal with the help of Javi Hernandez. Sekar’s shot didn’t quite hit the spot as it landed on the left side netting.
The second half began with the odds against Odisha as midfielder Lalruatthara seemed to have fouled, giving way to a penalty shot that Cleiton Silva perfected with his spot-kick that again seemed to have confused the goalkeeper. Kamaljit found some redemption after saving a shot from Bruno Ramires and Prince Ibara.
Odisha tried to find the equaliser with some substitutions, including Aridai Cabrera, who assisted Issac Vanmalsawma to make a shot for the goal. The attempt was blocked by Lara Sharma. At this point, Bengaluru’s defence closed ranks up until the end stages of the game.
With Bengaluru’s win, they still have a shot for the playoffs, with their next match set on 27 February 2022. Odisha will play against ATK Mohun Bagan on the 24th.