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Matchday 7 of the Indian Super League started with an intriguing showdown between 10th-ranked Odisha FC and fourth-ranked Bengaluru FC. Stuart Baxter’s team was still looking for their first win of the season and had only one point in the bag, while the Blues had maintained their undefeated record.
A major crash was scheduled to take place, and here’s what we did with it:
Benagluru FC had a good scoring opportunity early on when a deflected cross from Erik Paartalu caught Kristian Opseth on the edge of the six-yard box, but deflected it well. Then Paartalu himself took a peek in the fifth minute when he let fly from a considerable distance but missed.
The Blues continued to look good and had another presentable opportunity in the 7th minute when the ball broke for Dimas Delgado on the edge of the area, but he threw it over the crossbar.
However, Odisha began to return to the game thereafter, and they hit the back of the net in the 9th minute when Diego Maurício sent Marcel Onwu to goal, but his shot was ruled out for a marginal foul of play. A minute later, Onwu threw a brilliant ball through the area for Maurício, who simply couldn’t reach it for what would have been a simple touch.
Bengaluru finally broke the deadlock in the 38th minute when Harmanjot Khabra grabbed Sunil Chhetri with a cross, and the Indian captain jumped past Shubham Sarangi to drive his header home.
– Vighnesh Menon (@ VighneshMenon31) December 17, 2020
Odisha had a couple of great opportunities in the 61st minute when Shubham Sarangi sent a low cross to Gaurav Bora, whose first shot was blocked by a crowd and his follow-up was deflected and then parried by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Seven minutes later, Udanta Singh came up the right flank and sent a ball to Erik Paartalu on the edge of the area, but his first effort was well controlled by Arshdeep Singh.
However, it was Odisha FC that tied the game in the 71st minute when Steven Taylor found himself unmarked at the far post of Jerry Mawihmingthanga’s free-kick, putting it on the scoreboard.
Finally the Goal comes from #OdishaFC
– Axel Blaze (@axelblazelove) December 17, 2020
However, just eight minutes later, Cleiton Silva restored Bengaluru’s lead while crushing Deshorn Brown’s dismissal.
Cleiton Silva… More like Late On Silva. Am I right guys?
– Mr. GTM (@gtmspeaks) December 17, 2020
Then Bengaluru FC took another crucial victory.
Key talking point
The pressure is really on
With just one point from five games, Odisha FC knew they would soon have to start winning.
The Kalinga Warriors found themselves under a bit of pressure early on, but could have felt a bit offended when the assistant referee canceled Diego Maurício’s shot for an offside controversy. However, Odisha failed to win the battle in midfield, and they were met with a goal at halftime when Bengaluru was able to control the pace of the match.
However, the home team looked much more spirited in the second half as they began to push more men forward and found some joy on the wings, especially after Bengaluru switched to a back-three. They began to threaten much more from the set pieces, and finally scored the equalizer with a free kick. However, they could not keep things tight at the back and ended up giving in again to undo their good work.
I hope we win at least one game this season.
– Pratyush Das (@ pratyushdas130) December 17, 2020
So despite another good performance, Odisha FC has lost again. The lack of points and wins surely means there is a bit of pressure around Stuart Baxter.
Arshdeep Singh (6), Shubham Sarangi (5), Steven Taylor (6.5), Jacob Tratt (5.5), Hendry Antonay (5), Vinit Rai (5.5), Gaurav Bora (5), Cole Alexander (6), Jerry Mawihmingthanga (6.5 *), Manuel Onwu (5.5), Diego Maurício (6)
Subs: Nanda Kumar (5), Marcelinho (5)
Key talking point
The streak continues
Bengaluru FC had won two of their last three matches so things were starting to look good for them, and today they got even better.
The Blues started the first half on a positive note, creating a string of good scoring opportunities in the first 10 minutes, but not taking any of them. They had to endure a number of opportunities for their opponents after that, but then they began to control the match with Dimas Delgado falling into a deeper role in midfield. Everything was smooth sailing for the rest of the half, especially after Sunil Chhetri opened the scoring.
They would have wanted a simple second half to see victory, but all of that went out the window when Ashique Kuruniyan was injured. This forced Carles Cuadrat to switch to a back-three, and his team lost a lot of attacking momentum on the left flank. Ultimately, this allowed Odisha to equalize. However, that seemed to stimulate Bengaluru as they made positive changes and quickly regained leadership.
– West Block Blues (@WestBlockBlues) December 17, 2020
With that, they got another great victory, with three points together.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (6.5), Harmanjot Khabra (7), Pratik Chaudhari (6), Juanan (6.5), Ashique Kuruniyan (7), Suresh Singh Wangjam (7), Erik Paartalu (6.5), Dimas Delgado (8 *), Cleiton Silva (7.5), Kristian Opseth (4.5), Sunil Chhetri (7.5)
Subs: Fran González (5), Udanta Singh (6), Amay Morajkar (5) Deshorn Brown (6), Thongkhosiem Haokip (N / A)
If you Google the word ‘perennial’, Sunil Chhetri’s name should appear.
The forward, now 36, shows no signs of slowing down as he continues to work extremely hard up front for his team’s cause. Tonight, he opened the scoring with a strong header, leaving a mark on the Odisha FC defense. He even had to fill the left-back position for a few minutes when Ashique left, and he excelled there too.
11 – 170 cms, @ chetrisunil11 He is one of the shortest forwards in the @IndSuperLeague. As @bengalurufcdebut in the #ISL In 2017-18, the Indian captain has scored 11 headed goals, the most of any headed player in the ISL. Prolific. #OFCBFC #Soccer #HeroISL pic.twitter.com/aGWFskVdof
– OptaJeev (@OptaJeev) December 17, 2020
The Indian captain needed 30 touches to create 2 chances, winning 2/3 of his aerial duels and scoring with his only shot on goal.
Yet another clinical performance.
What does this mean:
Bengaluru FC climb to third place in the table thanks to Deshorn Brown’s first ISL assist, while Odisha FC remains in tenth place. Sunil Chhetri’s goal means that he has become the first Indian to reach 50 goals in ISL history with 42 goals and eight assists.
Statistics courtesy Sofascore.com