The Blues sealed consecutive wins for the first time this season.

Bengaluru FC put up a complete performance to beat Odisha FC 3-1 in the ISL at the Kanteerava Stadium. Rohit Kumar and Roy Krishna scored within two minutes of each other in the first half, helping BFC to a two-goal lead at half-time. Odisha came back strongly in the second half with Diego Mauricio’s early penalty, but Bengaluru held firm and rode on new signing Pablo Perez’s first goal in stoppage time to take full points. This is the Blues’ third victory at home, and the first time they have scored three goals all season. Simon Grayson spoke to the media post-match.

Attacking changes in the second half

Just when Odisha sensed a comeback post the hour mark, Simon Grayson made a couple of attacking substitutions and a formation change that eventually helped his team to victory. The Englishman credited his bench strength and said, “Just to give us some fresh legs really, we had worked really hard and needed to get some extra bodies into it. By doing that we had good players coming off the bench in Udanta, Pablo, and Sunil.

“First time in a long time we’ve had most options available with creativity to come off the bench at crucial times. Great for Roy to get his goal after a long time. But it was a game that really should have been over at half-time, Javi had the chance to make it 3-0 with a one-on-one. They made it difficult with that early penalty.”

Positives from the game

Odisha began the game on the front foot and BFC had to dig deep to emerge victorious. Simon Grayson talked of how his players took their opportunities, “We dug ourselves out from a little bit of trouble. We did not start the game well, they (Odisha) dominated us and we looked a bit off the pace. In possession, we gave it away too cheaply and out of possession they played well, got to give them credit.

“It’s not about the team really, the individuals that I put out there to start the game, others to come off the bench. Some players had to wait for their opportunities, Rohit is an example, he grasped it in the last two games. It’d be nice if we can go through the games without making it difficult for ourselves and I can enjoy myself on the bench.”

Half-time team talk

BFC carried a 2-goal lead into half-time for the first time this season. On being asked what his half-time advice half was to his team, Grayson said, “ I told my forwards at half time to take chances and not to give them any opportunities or chances. We dug in and defended well as a team, worked extremely hard and on another day it could have been a few more goals. We got back-to-back wins, won at home again and it is a massive positive for us.”

Foreigners’ injury update

The Blues have had bad luck with injuries to their foreigners. Prince Ibara picked up an injury pre-season and was ruled out completely. His replacement Pablo Perez also came off a lengthy injury layoff. Bruno Ramirez is on the road to recovery and Alexandar Jovanovic missed out today with an injury he picked up midweek.

Grayson provided an update, “We have not had six foreigners on the squad at all this season. Aleks got injured on Thursday which allowed Sandesh to get back into the team, Bruno isn’t too far away. It’s part of football, you deal with it. Whether you’re Indian or a foreign player, you do everything you can to stay in the team.”

Victory dedicated to Mandar Tamhane

Bengaluru FC’s CEO Mandar Tamhane stepped down from his position yesterday, ending an association stretching back to the club’s inception. Mandar is an inspirational figure who tasted immediate success with the club.

Grayson dedicated this victory to the outbound CEO, “A lot of players would want to dedicate this victory to Mandar, he’s been a massive impact on this football club. He’s going to leave us with his head held high. People move on and it was nice for him to go out on a positive note for all he’s done for this football club.”

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