ISL 2020-21 news: Late Paartalu equaliser hands Bengaluru point against Odisha

Former champion Bengaluru FC’s winless run in the 2020-21 Indian Super League continued as it could only muster a draw against Odisha FC at the Fatorda Stadium.

Erik Paartalu celebrates his 82nd minute equaliser for Bengaluru FC against Odisha FC in the ISL on Sunday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Bengaluru FC’s winless run extended to seven games as it could only draw 1-1 against Odisha FC at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Sunday.

After Erik Paartalu’s header in the 82nd minute cancelled out Diego Maurico’s early strike, the game saw a frenetic ending wherein both teams had gilt-edged chances to secure all three points. The best of the lot fell to BFC forward Kristian Opseth in the dying moments, which he fluffed by blazing over from five yards out.

MATCH BLOG | ISL 2020-21 Highlights BFC vs OFC: Bengaluru's winless run continues, Paartalu earns draw with Odisha

A few minutes before that, Odisha midfielder Jerry Mawihmingthanga – who was excellent throughout the game – had drawn a high quality save from goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, while Daniel Lalhlimpuia saw his shot brush off the post. For BFC, Sunil Chhetri blasted a shot over the crossbar from close range.

Earlier, an unchanged BFC started confidently but it was Odisha that took the lead in the eighth minute. Chhetri uncharacteristically misplaced a pass and Parag Srivas fouled Jerry to stop Odisha’s breakaway. But Jerry was up in a flash and set Manuel Onwu free on the right flank. Onwu's low cross was tapped in at the far post by Mauricio.

 

A fairly sedate half hour followed before Odisha custodian Arshdeep Singh came up with two fine saves. He dived low to his left to keep out Paartalu’s left-footed strike and then parried away a powerful Rahul Bheke header by diving sharply to his right.  

After the restart, Arshdeep was in action again, first to keep a swerving free-kick from Opseth away and then ward off a botched clearance from defender Gaurav Bora. On the hour mark, Onwu found Jerry with a splendid through ball, but it was saved well by Gurpreet.

With barely 10 minutes left, Cleiton Silva’s corner found the back of Paartalu’s head before going in off Arshdeep’s outstretched right arm. It set up a tantalising finish but both sides appeared too nervous to take the advantage.

THE RESULT: Bengaluru FC 1 (Erik Paartalu 82') drew with Odisha FC 1 (Diego Mauricio 8').