ISL 2019-20: Odisha FC 0-1 Bengaluru FC - Talking points

Bengaluru FC moved to the summit of the ISL table with a 1-0 win over Odisha FC, which is now winless in its last four matches.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's reflex save denied Odisha FC from scoring the equaliser.   -  ISL Media

Juanan's 37th-minute strike helped Bengaluru FC secure a 1-0 win at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, leaving Odisha FC winless in four matches. The result helped the defending ISL champion move to the summit after the first fixture of matchday seven.

Sportstar looks at the key facets of a closely-contested match.


Gurpreet Singh Sandhu shines on rare busy night

The Bengaluru FC goalkeeper kept his fifth clean sheet in seven matches this season, helping his team secure three points against a potent Odisha outfit. The 11 shots he faced and his six saves were the most in a single match this season and he earned  this clean sheet after a busy night in goal. The most challenging of his six saves came in the 54th minute and it provided evidence of Gurpreet's agility and reflexes as he palmed away Marcos Tebar's header despite being wrong-footed by the ball changing direction after hitting a Bengaluru player.

The others were comparatively more routine for the Indian goalkeeper, though he was up to the task each time a Odisha player kept his shot on target.

Sloppy defending costs Odisha

Both teams were excellent going forward and often, it was the last line of defence (the goalkeeper) which denied them from finding the back of the net.

Odisha, though, defended poorly and was fortunate to not concede more than one goal, with goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh saving three of the four shots that were on target.

Juanan's goal itself came from Odisha failing to clear the cross from Raphael Augusto, while Shubham Sarangi compounded matters by being outjumped by Erik Paartalu, whose header dropped kindly for Juanan to finish from close range.

The passing across the backline and the marking for set-pieces were below-par, and Josep Gombau's men were punished on the night.

Bengaluru's away hoodoo over

The defending ISL champion's moderate start to the season could be attributed to its inability to win away from home. It tossed away one-goal leads against FC Goa and Hyderabad FC, both of whom scored late to deny Bengaluru three points.

The failure to take its chances meant Bengaluru was vulnerable again, but Gurpreet's excellence in goal was paramount in it breaking its away duck.

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