Bengaluru FC and Odisha FC played out a goalless draw in their Indian Super League 2023-24 encounter at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday.

The result handed a big jolt to the Juggernauts and their hopes of clinching the League Winners Shield as they now have 36 points from 19 games, five behind what the top-placed Mumbai City FC (41) has accumulated from the same number of matches. On the other hand, Bengaluru FC is back in the top six courtesy of the outcome of this match.

It was a day where the backlines of both the teams were the saving graces, helping them keep a clean sheet each. Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was solid between the posts for the home side, making multiple decisive stops that denied Odisha FC the breakthrough until the end.

Ahmed Jahouh delivered a curling ball for Jerry Lalrinzuala inside the box on the left flank of the final third. Sandhu used his big frame to good effect to ensure that Jerry didn’t have too much space to attempt a shot in the 31st minute.

Fijian forward Roy Krishna had breached the home side’s defence to storm into their defensive half with a solo effort in the added time of the first half. He ensured that he got past Sandhu, but his attempt into an open net was thwarted after a late clearance by Shankar Sampingiraj.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Isak Vanlalruatfela and Amey Ranawade combined to try and open the scoring. Isak overcame a challenge by Nikhil Poojary to lay a pass up for Amey on the right flank. Sandhu was alert to rush ahead of his line and deny the fullback an angle that could have put the ball past him.

It wasn’t as if Bengaluru FC didn’t assert their gameplay moving forward. Their Spanish talisman Javi Hernandez produced two close efforts in the second half that could have spelt trouble for the Odisha FC defence if not for the duo of Mourtada Fall and Amrinder Singh.

In the 12th minute of the match, Javi dazzled into the box of the Juggernauts and tried to slot the ball into the back of the net, only to be saved by a goal-line clearance by Fall.

In the 65th minute, he and Oliver Drost played a nice little one-two passing sequence before Javi hammered the ball past a crowded Odisha FC box.

Amrinder got his palm to the ball before Ranawade lobbed the ball out of the danger area as the match ended goalless with the full-time whistle.