Odisha FC began their ISL campaign opener with a nervy 3-1 win over Bengaluru FC. Despite falling behind in all forms of stats, the Kalinga Warriors made use of their chances and held against the continuous threat posed by the Blues.
ODISHA FC 3-1 BENGALURU FC : THE GAME
Odisha scored within 3 minutes when a quick-thinking Javi Hernandez shot in from 40 yards out. A seemingly wasted long ball confused the Bengaluru defence with the goal-keeper and 2 centre-backs running towards it. Alan Costa and Yrondu Musavu-King stepped aside as Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who came outside the box, went for the ball. A poor clearance went right to the legs of Javi, who made no mistake.
Bengaluru pulled one back after a set of impressive plays which resulted in a corner. Odisha did well to hold on and had to get the ball off the line. Roshan Singh delivered in a pin-point cross to Alan Costa who placed it away from the keeper. The Brazilian was marked but muscled his way through to level the score.
Odisha were gifted a chance 5 minutes into the second half when Udanta Singh sent his backpass directly to Jonathas. The striker got himself to a good position outside the box before being brought down by Udanta himself. The resulting free-kick was an absolute beauty. Javi whipped in a left-footed strike across the goalkeeper and into the far top corner to regain the lead.
Cleiton Silva made an instant impact after coming on and got the Blues a penalty. Indian Captain Sunil Chettri decided to take the spot-kick. His attempt was saved by Kamaljit Singh, who was phenomenal throughout the game. Cleiton smashed in the rebound only for the referee to disallow it immediately. Replays revealed that Cleiton had rushed into the box before Chettri’s shot.
Bengaluru did not look the same and thus Odisha went on the offensive, sending diagonal balls at will. They would not bear the fruits of this endeavour until the end of the game when Aridai Cabrera slotted the clincher.
GOAL OF THE GAME
All 3 of Odisha’s goals were pieces of brilliance. One displaying quick-thinking, another pure skill and the last one, composure. But the best of the lot has to be the free-kick. The technique was class and the strike was simply satisfying. Javi Hernandez has announced himself at Odisha.
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