Indian Super League: Odisha FC climbs to top of table after beating Bengaluru FC

Odisha FC clinched their second consecutive home win as they defeated Bengaluru FC 1-0 on Thursday to move top of the Indian Super League (ISL) with nine points. Nandhakumar Sekar scored a belter in the 33rd minute which turned out to be the only goal of the game. Josep Gombau made a change from the team that defeated the Kerala Blasters. Raynier Fernandes replaced Isaac Chhakchhuak in midfield at Odisha FC.

Simon Grayson changed the Blues’ starting lineup for the first time this season in the ISL. Alan Costa and Javier Hernandez were replaced by Leon Augustine and Roy Krishna as Bengaluru FC switched to a back four.

The hosts started up front when BFC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu went down quickly and Jerry Mawihmingthanga saved at the near post after just two minutes. At the other end, Roy Krishna lunged for a long ball but saw his shot go wide of the goal.

In the middle of the first half, Bruno Silva sent Krishna a terrific through ball. The striker was denied by a brave save from an oncoming Amrinder Singh.

With just before the half hour, BFC’s Aleksandar Jovanovic missed a cross from Saul Crespo from the right before Diego Mauricio went wide.

The Juggernauts opened their account in the 33rd minute with an absolute lightning bolt from Sekar. Sahil Panwar’s corner was cleared, but only as far as Sekar. The forward scored his second ISL goal in style with a venomous punch from 26 yards.

Just before the hour mark, the game got pretty bumpy in the middle third. Bengaluru FC tried to put the hosts in their own half. There was a lack of creativity in midfield, with both sides attempting some long passes to their respective strikers. Krishna was tight, as was substitute Pedro Martin at the other end.

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In the 67th minute, the Juggernauts dared to go forward, Pedro Martin put the ball into the penalty area. The forward’s well-worn attempt eventually landed in Jerry’s path, which was completely unmarked. However, the winger was not used and fired his shot directly at the keeper.

Defender Alan Costa, who headed in BFC’s only win of the season so far, came on with seven minutes remaining to play alongside Krishna. However, the guests missed the final touch, as they ended the game with only two shots on goal.

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