Bengaluru: The top-of-the-table clash of the IWL 2023-24 between Kickstart FC and Odisha FC ended in a goalless draw at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Wednesday.
This is the first time Odisha FC have dropped a point in the current competition after winning five matches in a row.
The points were shared as both teams failed to score in this high-voltage encounter. Despite the draw, Odisha FC maintained their position at the top of the table with 16 points from six matches, whereas Kickstart stood just below them in second place with 14 points from six matches.
The approaches the two rival teams had towards the game were quite visible right from the start. While Odisha FC controlled the majority of the ball possession and looked to build from the back, Kickstart sat back and looked for opportunities to catch their opponents on the counter.
Despite Odisha FC controlling the pace of the game, the best chance of the first half fell to Kickstart FC when Karishma Purushottam Shirvoikar hit the post from close range in the 10th minute. Four minutes later, Pyari Xaxa had a shot on goal from outside the box to register Odisha’s first effort on target.
Odisha continuously pushed forward and were able to muster up a lot of chances to take the lead. Win Theingi Tun was denied a goal by a brilliant save by goalkeeper Maibam Linthoingambi Devi in the 20th minute.
The second half was no different, as Odisha FC seemed to be on the front foot right from the start. They made several attacks, but the Kickstart defence stood firm to the test. The frustration seemed evident as Crispin Chetteri, the Odisha FC coach, was sent off for kicking the ball away in the 62nd minute.
In the end, Odisha FC’s apparent lack of sharpness in front of the opposition goal and a stout defensive performance from Kickstart resulted in the two teams splitting points.