Bengaluru FC extended its unbeaten start in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) to seven games with a narrow 1-0 win against Odisha FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex here on Wednesday.
Nandhakumar Sekar latched onto a pass from the deep, cut in from the left to shift the ball to his right foot and attempted a ferocious strike that looked destined for the bottom right corner. But a vital fingertip save by the Bengaluru goalkeeper kept the shot out.
With the contest heating up, Juanan showcased his centre-forward skills to give Bengaluru the lead. Nishu Kumar’s lob into the box was flicked into the defender’s path by Erik Paartalu. The Spaniard outfoxed Carlos Delgado to send a scuffed shot that went in off the post.
BFC had the chance to double its lead just before the break when Sunil Chhetri took advantage of a misplaced pass and charged at the Odisha defence. He spotted Udanta’s run to his right and set him up for a shot, but the winger tried to return the favour and failed to find his teammate.
Odisha stepped up its efforts and chased an equaliser after the break. In the 55th minute, Marcos Tebar’s header forced a fantastic reflex save off Gurpreet. The ball fell at Diawandou Diagne’s feet, but the Bengaluru custodian pulled off another good save to deny the defender from close range.
Gurpreet then kept out strikes from Tebar and Xisco Hernandez to keep his team in the lead. At the other end, Bengaluru threatened through set-pieces and crosses from wide areas. BFC, which was denied a second goal by the post from a good Dimas Delgado free-kick, looked to be the fitter team in the final minutes as it stood firm and defended well.