Friday, March 31, 2023

ISL: Odisha FC beat NE United 3-1

By crushing NorthEast United FC 3-1 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Friday, Odisha FC reclaimed a playoff spot in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23. Nandhakumar Sekar, Victor Rodriguez, and Diego Mauricio scored goals to give the Juggernauts three crucial points, putting them one point away from securing their first-ever postseason qualifying. Pedro Martin and Diego Mauricio started the game for Odisha FC up forward. Although there was a clear intention to attack, NorthEast United FC got off to a stronger start and made more forward moves in the opening ten minutes.
Odisha FC, at the other end of the field, eventually began pressing the NorthEast United FC defence.
In the first ten minutes of the second half, NorthEast United FC had a few chances. Aaron Evans’ header from a corner that was intended for the far post missed the mark. Later, as he noticed an opening at the near post, Parthib Gogoi displayed outstanding awareness on the right flank. The kid tried his luck from close to the touchline, forcing Amrinder to reposition himself and palm the ball behind for a corner.
Just five minutes after the hour mark, Odisha FC built a two-goal lead. Crespo delivered a low ball to Rodriguez’s box from the right wing. Seven minutes after coming in, the replacement’s clever touch allowed him to avoid Evans and drive it beyond Bhattacharja. Laldanmawia Ralte fouled Crespo inside the box in the final 10 minutes, resulting in a penalty. To make it 3-0, Mauricio shot it clean down the middle. Wilmar Gil’s penalty-kick goal after Shubham Sarangi’s foul in the second minute of stoppage time cost Odisha FC their first clean sheet in eight games. On February 24, NorthEast United FC will play Chennaiyin FC at the Marina Arena to close out the regular season.
But Odisha FC established a two-goal cushion five minutes past the hour-mark. From the right flank, Crespo squared a low ball into the box for Rodriguez. The substitute’s deft touch helped him dodge Evans before driving it past Bhattacharja seven minutes after coming on. In the last ten minutes, Laldanmawia Ralte fouled Crespo inside the box and gave away a penalty. Mauricio fired it straight down the middle to make it 3-0.
In the second minute of stoppage time, a first clean sheet in eight games was snatched away from Odisha FC after Wilmar Gil fired one home from the spot following Shubham Sarangi’s foul.
Odisha FC leapfrogged FC Goa and ATK Mohun Bagan and will host Jamshedpur FC on February 22. If it avoids defeat in that game, it could mean curtains for FC Goa’s playoff hopes, as it will be dependent on ATK Mohun Bagan dropping points in both its remaining games. NorthEast United FC will finish the season at the Marina Arena against Chennaiyin FC on February 24.


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