Javi on a high, sinks BFC


Xavi Hernandez’s excellent double and Aridai Suarez’s excellent individual effort brought Odisha a 3-1 victory over Bangalore in the first Indian Super League match at Tilak Maidan stadium in Goa on Wednesday.

That Hernandez’s goals stem from avoidable mistakes by the BFC should not get in the way; the first was a delightful long-range shot across the entire defense, and the second was a dodge free kick from outside the box.

With the score 1: 2, BFC captain Sunil Chkhetri could play his team and equal the record score of Ferran Corominas’ goals at ISL (48), but his penalty was repulsed in the 61st minute. Substitute Clayton Silva, who earned a penalty, worked on the rebound, only the referee did not count the goal.

The replays showed that the Brazilian had invaded the box before the kick was struck. But that same replay also showed that Odisha had invaded, which should have resulted in a second penalty.

However, the BFC was clearly below par. The evening began with the worst possible start, when the unsuccessful removal of Gurprit Singh Sandhu after a misunderstanding with his defenders in the third minute was beautifully thrown into the goal by Hernandez.

Marco Pezzaiuoli’s squad evened the score in the 21st minute as Alan Costa towered over Nandakumar Sekar to turn into a perfect corner from Roshan Naorem.

Hernandez’s second goal was a brilliant free kick into the upper right corner, but this came after a miss by Udanta Singh. The winger made an inappropriate pass and, trying to fix something, fouled Jonatas Christiane.

In the 90th minute, Silva saw a powerful shot from close range, which was repelled by Odishi’s goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh. Soon, Suarez turned Pratik Choudhary inside out and folded the ball to put the result to bed.

Result: Odisha FC 3 (Hernandez 3, 51, Suarez 90) fought Bengaluru FC 1 (Costa 21).


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