Bengaluru FC keep semi-final hopes alive after defeating Odisha

(Football news) Bengaluru FC made a stunning comeback to seal three points in a 2-1 win over Odisha FC at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. The result meant the Blues progressed to fifth place in the Indian Super League table with 26 points, just one point behind fourth place Kerala Blasters and are in contention for a place in the semi-finals. Odisha FC’s Nandhakumar Sekar (8’) opened the scoring but Danish Farooq (31’) equalised with a header for Bengaluru FC. A penalty spot goal by Cleiton Silva (49’) secured all three points for Marco Pezzaiuoli’s side. 

Both teams began the match on a positive note, creating decent opportunities to find the breakthrough. Bengaluru FC’s Bruno Ramires almost scored the first goal of the match inside five minutes but his long-range effort narrowly missed the target. Odisha FC drew first blood when Jonathas found space behind BFC’s defence but his shot was saved by Lara Sharma but the danger was far from over as Nandhakumar Sekar pounced on the rebound to find the back of the net in the 8th minute. 

Bengaluru FC soon found an equaliser through Danish Farooq who headed home from Roshan Naorem’s corner at the 31st minute. Kamaljit Singh didn’t judge the flight of the ball correctly which gave Farooq a free header on the far post. Odisha FC could have regained their advantage through Nandhakumar Sekar before the end of the first half when the 26 year old was one-on-one with the goalkeeper but the winger hit the side netting after dodging Lara Sharma. 

The Kalinga Warriors failed to replicate their strong start from the first half when the play resumed and they gave away a penalty after Udanta Singh was brought down in the penalty box. Cleiton Silva took the spot kick and sent the goalkeeper in the wrong direction to give Bengaluru FC the lead. Odisha FC desperately tried to salvage at least a point from the fixture and made a few attacking substitutions by bringing on Aridai Cabrera who fed Isaac Vanmalsawma whose shot was parried by Lara Sharma. Despite five additional minutes added after 90 minutes, Bengaluru FC defended resolutely to take home the three points.

Bengaluru FC will face ATK Mohun Bagan in their next match on Sunday, 27th February at the Fatorda Stadium while Odisha FC will take on ATK Mohun Bagan on Thursday, 24th February at the Tilak Maidan.

Also read: At first I declined offer to join ISL: league's highest scorer Ogbeche


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