ISL: Juanan strike sends Bengaluru FC to the summit - as it happened

Juanan and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu were the key players for Bengaluru FC, which beat Odisha FC 1-0 in the first fixture of matchday seven.

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Bengaluru FC is the form team coming into the match against Odisha FC.   -  ISL

Bengaluru FC's one-nil win, thanks to Juanan's 37th-minute goal, takes it to the summit of the ISL table.

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Full-time: Odisha FC 0-1 Bengaluru FC. Juanan's 37th-minute strike sends Bengaluru FC to the summit of the ISL table.

90+2' CHANCE! Aridane Santana connects with the corner but his header flies over the crossbar. The disappointment is evident on the centre-forward's face.

87' SAVED! Substitute Daniel Lalhlimpuia forces a save off Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. The ball breaks kindly for him, he works a bit of space for himself and strikes it firmly with his left foot, trying to slot it in the far post, but Gurpreet goes down to his left and despite an awkward bounce, pushes it away to safety.

85' SAVED! Erik Paartalu's header from a Dimas Delgado free-kick is straight at Arshdeep Singh and he collects the ball after fumbling the first time.

Substitution for Odisha FC:  Vinit Rai is replaced by Daniel Lalhlimpuia

81' POST! Dimas Delgado hits the post from a free-kick from just outside the box. Semboi won the free-kick and Delgado tries to curl it inside the far post. The goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh is beaten but it's the post that he's hit.

Substitution for Bengaluru FC: Raphael August is taken off and Rahul Bheke replaces him.

Substitution for Odisha FC: Diagne is taken off and Martin Guedes replaces him as Odisha FC chases equaliser

72' SAVED! Erik Paartalu connects sweetly with Dimas Delgado's corner, it's close to Ardeep Singh in the Odisha FC goal but he still has to improvise and save it with his right foot. Bengaluru FC has wrested the momentum from odisha and is starting to carve out chances.

Substitution for Bengaluru FC: Udanta Singh is replaced by Semboi Haokip.

66' SAVED, AGAIN! Xisco Hernandez works a bit of space for himself with excellent footwork and lets fly a shot from outside the box. It's straight at Gurpreet and he catches it comfortably.

63' SAVED! This time it's Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who's called into action. Marcos Tebar strikes it with the outside of his right foot but doesn't get enough power behind his shot, and Gurpreet gets a strong right hand to save it.

58' SAVED! Raphael Augusto forces a save from Arshdeep Singh with a thumping left-footed effort. It's straight at the goalkeeper from near the penalty spot but Arshdeep gets two strong hands and makes the save.

54' OHH, HOW DID DIAGNE MISS THAT? An excellent corner and Marcos Tebar connects with it sweetly, but the ball deflects off a Bengaluru FC defender but Gurpreet Singh Sandhu shows good agility to get his palm to it. It then falls kindly to Diagne, who has the goal at his mercy. He panics and hits the post, the ricochet then falls onto the path of Nandhakumar but Gurpreet shows bravery to save it despite foots flying about.

52' OHHH! Sunil Chhetri with a first-time shot from outside the box, it flies just over the crossbar. Nishu Kumar shows good strength to ride the challenge, works out a few yards of space and then has the awareness to spot the run of Chhetri. He goes for the first-time effort, trying to find one of the corners, but it's just gone over the crossbar.

47' Odisha FC has, again, begun the half well. Jerry Mawihmingthanga takes on Nishu Kumar and delivers a teasing cross. He can't pick out a player in the Odisha FC shirt. It's a good start to the half from the home side.

46' Bengaluru FC gets us underway.

The players are back out for the second half, with Odisha FC chasing the equaliser while Bengaluru FC, which is top as it stands, will look to double its advantage or at least hold onto its lead.

SECOND HALF

Half-time: PEEP, PEEP, PEEP. The referee blows the half-time whistle and it's Bengaluru FC that holds the lead after Juanan's 37th-minute goal.

44' CHANCE! Bengaluru FC has a great chance to double its advantage, but Odisha can breathe a sigh of relief after Udanta Singh chooses to cross from a good position inside the boxThe chance came after Carlos Delgado ceded possession on the edge of his own penalty area, Dimas Delgado intercepting the pass and picking out Udanta Singh, who had enough space and the angle to hit it first time.

37' GOAL! Juanan puts Bengaluru FC 1-0 up. Erik Paartalu with the assist, picking out Juanan, who, under pressure from the Odisha defenders, get his shot away. It's tame, but importantly, it ricochets in off the far post as Arshdeep Singh in the Odisha FC goal tries to keep it out before it crosses the goal-line, but it's a goal. Bengaluru FC's pressure has paid off.

30' Nandhakumar's in the thick of action again for Odisha FC! He gets a one-on-one opportunity, but this time, he tries to play a cross that's blocked by Albert Serran, conceding a corner. Marcos Tebar takes the corner but there's a foul in the build-up and the referee blows the whistle, much to the relief of Bengaluru FC.

22' CHANCE! It's the Harmanjot Khabra-Udanta Singh combination that almost carves out an opening for Bengaluru FC. Udanta Singh's pace gets him into space and he plays a low cross to the on-rushing Sunil Chhetri, who's first-time shot is blocked by Diawandou Diagne.

22' A couple of fouls and the resulting stoppage in play have affected the rhythm somewhat. Odisha has had the best chance of the match so far through Nandhakumar, but Bengaluru FC, as you expect, is carrying a threat with Udanta Singh's pace down the right-hand side.

14' SAVED! First time either of the goalkeepers has been tested. It's Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who palms away a curling effort from Nandhakumar. Udanta Singh's a little lethargic with his touch and cedes possession in the middle of the park. It's a 3v2 situation after Vinit Rai plays a lobbed pass, picking out Nandhakumar. He creates space for himself and has a shot on goal, it doesn't have the venom but Gurpreet palms it away for a corner which doesn't produce anything.

10' Ashique Kuruniyan finds himself in the final-third and spots the run of Udanta Singh. He plays a neat pass and Udanta backheels it for Raphael Augusto on the edge of the box. The Brazilian tries to wriggle his way past the Odisha defenders but doesn't manage to.

7' An intriguing battle developing on Bengaluru FC's right, with Nandhakumar twice getting a one-on-one chance with Bengaluru central defender Albert Serran. Both times, the defender has come out on top, quite calmly too. Harmanjot Khabra has found himself camped high up the pitch, allowing Nandhakumar to exploit that space, but Serran has been impregnable so far.

7' Udanta Singh is played in behind the Odisha FC defence, he gets to the byeline and puts in a cross that's, however, too close to Odisha goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh, who's untroubled as a result.

5' Bengaluru FC settling into a good passing rhythm. It's mostly the backline exchanging passes between themselves and looking for openings in the middle of the park. But Odisha FC is not pressing high up the match, at least in the early moments of this match.

1' An excellent start from Odisha, mounting a purposeful attack right from kick-off. The ball breaks for Vinit Rai on Odisha's right, he gets to the byeline and looks to pick out Aridane Santana in the box. His cross doesn't find the target ultimately, but that's a warning for Bengaluru FC.

Kick-off: Here we go! Odisha FC gets us underway.

The teams make their way out onto the pitch as the pyrotechnics go off. Bengaluru FC players are in their all-white strips, while Odisha FC players are in their home kit. We are ready for the national anthem.  And... the national anthem's done, the customary pre-match photographs are done, and we are not far from kick-off now.

STAT: Captain Sunil Chhetri is in red-hot goal-scoring form, having netted in each of Bengaluru FC's previous three fixtures. The defending ISL champion has quality in every department, but Chhetri is arguably the biggest threat to the home side.

Bengaluru FC's West Block Blues have arrived at the Shree Shiv Chatrapati Sports Complex as their team chases top spot on the ISL table.

 

Odisha FC manager Josep Gombau and his Bengaluru FC counterpart, Carles Cuadrat, have named unchanged starting line-ups from their previous match.

Starting line-ups

Odisha FC starting XI: Arshdeep Singh (GK), Shubham Sarangi, Narayan Das, Carlos Delgado, Diawandou Diagne, Marcos Tebar (c), Xisco Hernandez, Vinit Rai, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Nandhakumar Sekar, Aridane Santana (Substitutes: Ankit Bhuyan, Mohammad Dhot, Rana Gharami, Bikramjit Singh, Martin Guedes, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Seiminmang Manchong)

Bengaluru FC starting XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Albert Serran, Juanan, Harmanjot Khabra, Nishu Kumar, Erik Paartalu, Raphael Augusto, Dimas Delgado, Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Sunil Chhetri (c) (Substitutes: Prabhsukhan Singh Gill, Rahul Bheke, Rino Anto, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Suresh Wangjom, Edmund Lalrindika, Semboi Haokip)

Preview

Odisha FC faces Bengaluru FC in the first match of matchday seven and it comes into the fixture on the back of three successive draws. Defending champion Bengaluru, on the other hand, has the incentive of moving to the summit of the ISL table should it beat Odisha tonight.

In his pre-match press conference, Bengaluru manager Carles Cuadrat said: “I’m expecting a tough game tomorrow. We’ve drawn four games this season, but we’ve been the dominant side in those games. We haven’t been at our best in certain aspects, and that is what we are working on as a team.”

Bengaluru holds the second-best defensive record in the league having conceded six goals in six matches, bettered only by ATK conceding five.