ISL 2021-22 Live Commentary: Odisha FC vs Bengaluru FC
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6:30 PM: Hello everyone and welcome to Khel Now’s LIVE COVERAGE of the Odisha FC vs Bengaluru FC match in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22. After the bottom-place finish last season, Odisha FC have undergone a major summer overhaul and will start afresh against the former ISL champions. Bengaluru FC too had a below-par campaign last season. However, The Blues come out roaring this time. They thrashed NorthEast United FC 4-2 in their opening match and would want to continue that run. The kick-off is just an hour away!
I’m your host Rajdeep Saha, and I’ll be keeping you company through what promises a fascinating evening of football.
Odisha FC vs Bengaluru FC: Build up
While the Juggernauts are starting their campaign, Marco Pezzaiuoli’s BFC thumped NorthEast United 4-2 in their opening clash. Both clubs have a tinge of similarity this season, in that they are both starting over after revamps in the summer. Bengaluru FC started their season brightly and will want to extend that. Odisha FC, on the other hand, will look to begin their new era with a victory. They are winless against The Blues in the previous two seasons. Given the clash of styles and talents (both foreign and domestic), this game should be a good watch.
In the two seasons they have been in the ISL, after being rechristened as Odisha FC from Delhi Dynamos, the club have seen the lowest of lows. They finished with the wooden spoon last season, with only two wins from the possible 20. It forced Odisha FC to re-assess their approach, leading to major changes across levels at the club. However, while they have rebooted and are starting afresh, Odisha have brought back the system that saw them dish out decent performances on the field.
Under Josep Gombau, in their first season as Odisha, they finished sixth, just four points from the final playoffs berth. Keeping that as the benchmark, Odisha FC have appointed fellow Spaniard Kiko Ramirez as their boss for this season. Four of their six foreigners are also Spanish.
In contrast, Bengaluru FC have walked away from Spanish tacticians and have appointed former Eintracht Frankfurt technical director Marco Pezzaiuoli as their head coach for the next three seasons. The German has started well, with a commanding win on his ISL managerial debut. His BFC side also gave a good account of themselves in the AFC Cup, although they failed to advance from the group stage.
Bengaluru finished seventh last season, missing out on the playoffs for the first time in their four-year ISL history. The club looked a distant past of themselves, leading to the Blues relieving head coach Carles Cuadret and also releasing six of their seven overseas players from last season. With the start they have got, Bengaluru FC would want to carry on and not settle for anything less than the playoffs.