Profligacy and defensive woes at the forefront – Bengaluru FC and Odisha FC continue their search for victories
A draw was a good result in the end because neither side deserved to get three points from the shock…
Odisha FC were set to secure their second win of the season against Bengaluru FC on Sunday, but failed to do so as Erik Paartalu bailed out the Blues in the 82nd minute with an equalizer and saved them a point.
Odisha and Bengaluru had their chances of scoring more goals but were guilty of losing chances to clinch the tie. In the end, the 1-1 draw was a good result for both teams.
The Kalinga Warriors have improved a lot since their poor start to the season. They’ve gained confidence in every passing game on offense, but they still need to be more clinical up front. They were also guilty of failing to close matches every time they had their noses forward, especially like what happened on Sunday.
Diego Mauricio is the club’s top scorer since the start of the season and is the club’s top scorer this year with seven goals in 13 appearances, but it is not possible for the Brazilian alone to continue to score and win games. himself. There must be more input from others.
Baxter belatedly deployed a more offensive 4-3-3 formation which saw forwards Manuel Onwu and Daniel Lahlimpuia play alongside Mauricio up front, but neither the Indian striker nor the Spaniard found the bottom of the nets this season. Onwu fell short of his form last season when he joined the club in January and scored goals galore.
Both had the opportunity to score against Bengaluru but failed to try their luck.
Another major issue Baxter faces is his defensive issues. The British coach has experimented a lot and tried several combinations. Jacob Tratt was first partner to Steven Taylor in central defense, but the Australian defender now plays as a right-back. Baxter sometimes tried Gaurav Bora in defense, Rakesh Pradhan in the January transfer window with Hendry Antonay replaced at left-back.
However, Odisha continues to concede goals at crucial times. They fled 20 goals, which is the second worst record ever after Kerala Blasters.
After the match, Baxter appeared exasperated by Odisha’s inability to hold onto the lead as he said: “I’m frustrated with a lot of things like our inability to put the game to bed, our inability to defend the 90 minutes without make basic mistakes. -Pieces decide many games and that brought them (Bengaluru FC) back into the game. I was disappointed that we didn’t do a great job of not giving silly free kicks and touches and corners. The team must learn from it. We play well regularly to win matches, but we don’t win. “
The British manager is right to point out that his side concede stupid goals and are unable to finish matches early despite having plenty of opportunities. The team shows improvement with every game, but they need to be more resilient and kill games if they are to end the season in a respectable position.
Bengaluru FC are also facing conversion of odds issues, which was evident on Sunday. They show intention on offense, especially when trying to come back after a setback. But their biggest problem this season has been their defense. The Blues have always been known for their solid defensive organization. They were the best team in the league over the past two seasons in terms of defense and weren’t known to have shied away too many goals.
The Blues have tried several combinations in the heart of their backline but they just can’t stop the leak. They sometimes concede stupid goals. Their defensive problems didn’t really help Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the goal. Sandhu, while making some crucial saves, has faced a bit more pressure than he has been used to in the recent past.
As we enter a crucial phase of ISL, Bengaluru and Odisha are in desperate need of some positive results.