Bengaluru FC secured a second win on the bounce for only the first time this campaign as it beat Odisha FC 3-1 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday.
The win still leaves Simon Grayson’s side three points adrift of a playoff position (16 points from 14 matches to FC Goa’s 19 from 13). But it will be a morale-booster ahead of the business end where of the six remaining games four are at home.
BFC scored first in the 25th minute through Rohit Kumar, whose weak shot after a penalty box scramble rolled into the net. Odisha vehemently protested, including coach Josep Gombau who was booked on the touchline, for it thought Roy Krishna, who was beside the ‘keeper, was offside. But the ball had actually deflected in off Odisha’s Narender Gahlot.
There was however no dispute over the second strike three minutes later. Roy Krishna worked the ball on to N. Sivasakthi’s path on the left flank, dashed into the penalty area to receive a perfectly weighted ball from his junior partner and slotted it home.
Javi Hernandez could have put the result to bed in the 40th minute, but couldn’t toe-poke successfully after having carried the ball from the half line.
Odisha hit back after the break with Diego Mauricio earning a penalty and then converting. Defender Parag Shrivas erred, neither clearing the ball nor blocking Mauricio’s path, before goalie Gurpreet Sandhu clumsily brought Mauricio down to concede the spot kick.
But the contest settled into a sedate pace from there on, with no clear-cut chances for either team. Substitute Pablo Perez eventually sealed it in injury time, making it the first time this season BFC has scored thrice. Odisha, with just one win from six games, is in danger of frittering away a solid start.
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