A Roy Krishna strike in the final minute of added time in extra-time saw Bengaluru FC win 2-1 against Odisha FC in the quarterfinal of the Durand Cup, here at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan on Saturday.
Substitute Sivasakthi Narayanan gave the Blues a 1-0 lead in extra-time before Diego Mauricio pulled level with seven minutes left to play. And just as the game looked headed to penalties, Krishna pulled Bengaluru over the line with a fantastic strike from distance.
Earlier, Grayson handed Naorem Roshan Singh his first start of the campaign, while Gurpreet Singh Sandhu also returned to the Blues’ eleven. Bengaluru had Roy Krishna and Sunil Chhetri in attack, while Brazilian Diego Mauricio started alongside Spanish Saul Crespo for the Juggernauts.
Odisha had the first chance of the game in the 11th minute when Nandha found himself in a pocket of space but his effort was saved well by Gurpreet. Bengaluru had a chance of their own ten minutes later when Javi Hernandez saw his corner punched away, and Krishna’s effort on the rebound clipped the crossbar on its way out.
Both sides went into the break as a cagey first-half came to an end with the scores level. Into the second period, Bengaluru pushed further forward and almost found the back of the net when Javi’s free-kick found Jhingan’s header but it flew off target. Grayson made changes as Danish Farooq and Leon Augustine made their way onto the pitch, replacing Rohit Kumar and Roshan.
Leon’s threat down the flank created the Blues’ next chance, with the winger winning a free-kick down the flank. Javi’s take found Jovanovic, but the Australian’s header flew inches wide of the frame. Odisha were reduced to ten men with ten minutes to play when Shubham Sarangi’s foul on Leon prompted the referee to brandish a second yellow card.
Bengaluru pushed forward in search of a winner, but the whistle blew to signal the end of regulation time. Grayson rang in more changes, with Sivasakthi replacing Chhetri and Faisal Ali coming on for Parag. The striker made an instant impact, finding himself at the end of Ralte’s save to slot home from close range to make it 1-0.
Bengaluru took the lead into the short break, and almost found the net once again on the other side when Leon closed down Ralte’s attempted clearance to make the block. The ’keeper found himself wrong-footed, but the ball trickled wide of the frame. Against the run of play, Odisha - who were down to ten men after Shubham Sarangi was sent off last in the second half - found an equalizer through Mauricio, who nodded home a free-kick from Sahil Panwar to make it 1-1.
Bengaluru continued to push forward and saw chances from Javi and Leon go begging before Krishna found the net in what was the final action of the game. Picking up the ball with seconds left to play, Krishna unleashed a strike from over 25 yards that flew into the top corner past a hapless Ralte in the Odisha goal.
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