Odisha FC defeated Bengaluru FC by 3-1 in their first match of the Indian Super League 2021-22 season at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa. This was Odisha's first victory over Bengaluru in the leagues history.
A brace from Javi Hernandez and a stoppage time goal from Ariday was enough to seal the victory for the Juggernauts over the Blues as Alan's 21st minute equalizer went in vain.
Bengaluru FC had their fair share of chances with biggest one falling for captain Sunil Chhetri. But the Indian Striker's penalty kick was saved by Kamaljit. Cleiton did score on the rebound but it was disallowed on the grounds of encroachment by the linesman causing huge outrage in Bengaluru's camp.
BFC Head Coach Marco Pezzaiuoli talked about his side's performance, match result, penalty controversy among other things in his post match press conference. Here's what he said.
Defensive issues for his team and the league in general
Bengaluru conceded two goals in their opening encounter and three against Odisha tonight. That makes it five goals in two games. Apart from Bengaluru, we have seen other teams conceding lots of goals as well this season. Talking about this, Pezzaiuoli said, "I think before talking about other teams, we should talk about ourselves. In the first five minutes we made a big mistake and then also for the second goal, Udanta lost the ball and we gave the free-kick to the opponent. Also the position of Gurpreet for that goal was not proper".
"In terms of the league, I don't see it as a bad thing, I think it's a good thing that the teams are scoring goals. Even we had the chance to score the second and the third goals as well. But after they scored the goal, the game was difficult. We had the chances to score in the last minute and you could see we wanted to win the game but if you make mistakes, then you have to be better than the opponent," the gaffer opined.
Refereeing decision following Sunil Chhetri's penalty
Bengaluru were awarded penalty in the 61st minute of the game after Hendry Anthony fouled Cleiton Silva inside the box. Sunil Chhetri stepped up to take the resulting spot kick. His shot got saved by Kamaljit but Cleiton pounced upon the rebound and it seemed like they had got the goal. But the linesman ruled it out as Cleiton was already in the box before penalty was taken. Bengaluru FC kept complaining that Odisha's player was also in the box and hence it should have been retaken but referees had made their decision.
Speaking on the issue, Pezzaiuoli said, "It was about two players who were in the box. In about 99% of the world, the penalty is retaken. I'm not sure why that was the case, you have to ask the referee. Such incidents have happened often across the world and the penalty is retaken. Sunil is usually a top scorer in such situations but he can miss sometimes."
On Roshen Naorem brilliant set-pieces
22 years old full back Roshen Singh Naorem arrived at Bengaluru in 2020 and played his first ISL match against Odisha. His set pieces were a treat to watch and caught everyone's attention. Sharing his views on Roshen, Pezzaiuoli said, "He is training well, he had a good pre-season and I think he deserves to play. He is a young player who was picked up from the youth team. He needs to get this kind of experience."
On Cleiton Silva not being in the starting XI
Cleiton Silva started off the season with 1 goal 1 assist in first match against NorthEast United but he was only on bench for today's game which came off as a surprise. Explaining his decision, Pezzaiuoli said, "Cleiton is a very good player, he had a good game the last time out. But there are 20 games and we play every three days. It's not about lacking creativity because we have a lot of creative players."
Marco Pezzaiuoli and Bengaluru FC players have surely got a lot to ponder upon after tonight's result. And The Blues fans would be hoping for a big comeback in the next match.