Friday, March 24, 2023

Durand Cup: Odisha FC beat Kerala 2-0

Indian Super League (ISL) side Odisha FC continued their winning run at the Durand Cup as they defeated a resilient Kerala Blasters 2-0 in a group D match at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati on Tuesday.
Isaac Vanmalsawma and Saul Pedro scored as Odisha FC picked up their second consecutive win in the tournament.
Odisha came into this match after thrashing NorthEast United FC 6-0 in their tournament opener, while Kerala played out a 1-1 draw against Sudeva Delhi in their first game.
The first half of the game saw a rather slow start from both the teams with Kerala defending well and holding their fort, despite Odisha dominating possession.
Odisha could have drawn the first blood in the first half itself as the best chance came to Vanmalsawma, but he shot straight to Blasters keeper Sachin Suresh, who did well to save it.
While Kerala begun the second half on a lively note, Odisha soon took control of the proceedings and created better chances, with their forward line linking up well inside the Blasters’ box.
Odisha shot into lead through Vanmalsawma in the 51st minute. The 25-year-old met the ball right about the centre of the box following a pass from second half substitute Diego Mauricio and did the job smoothly.
The first goal led to a flurry of attacks from Odisha and that led to a second goal in the 73rd minute through Pedro, who tapped in from a rebound off his teammate Osama Malik following a corner by Jerry Mawihmingthanga.
The second goal was a nail in the coffin for Kerala as they could not stitch any meaningful attacks, enough to trouble the Odisha defence.
With this win, Odisha moved to the top of their group standing with six points from two games, while Kerala have one point from two matches.


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