Odisha FC Overturn 2-Goal Deficit to Beat East Bengal 4-2


Odisha FC defeated East Bengal 4-2 in an outstanding attacking display in the second half of their Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday.

Pedro Martin netted a brace as Jerry and Nandhakumar scored one each to overturn strikes from Semboi Haokip and Naorem Singh.

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After a rather cagey start to the game, the first real chance fell to Semboi Haokip after Odisha gave up possession in defence following a block of Charis Kyriakou’s long ranger. The ball came out to VP Suhair as his lofted ball into the middle, was headed over by Haokip in the fifth minute.

A minute later, Odisha had their first sight at goal after Raynier Fernandes’ wonderful cross was headed just wide by Diego Mauricio.

In the 14th minute, Jordan O’Doherty sent in Mahesh Noarem Singh on the left wing but his cutback was cleared out by a timely leg sticking out from Osama Malik.

East Bengal captain Cleiton Silva, in the very next minute, had arguably the easiest of chances to get his side the lead when some congested play from a harmless throw-in resulted in him being through on goal with just the keeper to beat.

Saul Crespo though did not give up the chase and managed to thwart Cleiton as he was about to shoot as his effort went straight to Amrinder Singh in goal.

Come the 23rd minute, East Bengal finally did have the lead.

Semboi Haokip was presented with the opportunity by VP Suhair after Jordan O’Doherty found the winger on the right with a perfectly synchronised chip over the top. The Odisha defence was caught napping as Suhair’s square pass to Haokip saw an on-rushing Amrinder look on helplessly.

The Red and Gold brigade doubled their lead in the 35th after the referee played an advantage with Kyriakou being tackled to the ground. The ball was quickly headed on for Suhair, who raced down the left this time. His cross was met by a sliding Naorem Singh as the effort slotted past the keeper.

Odisha could have pulled one back in the 39th as Nandhakumar Sekar managed to wiggle past the defence as Raynier Fernandes’s powerful header barely missed the mark from a few yards out.

After the restart, Odisha manager Josep Gombau made some changes to spring life into their misfiring attack. Pedro Martin was introduced and he had an immediate impact, scoring two goals to get Odisha level.

Two minutes in Diego Mauricio got the ball and slid it into Martin’s path who managed to lose his marker and take a shot. His effort smashed into the back of the net as keeper Kamaljit Singh looked on.

In the 48th minute, Martin took advantage of some poor marking yet again as Diego Mauricio won the cross from the left flank to get the ball to Martin. Unmarked, he headed it past Kamaljit.

Another half-time substitute, Jerry completed the comeback for Odisha FC in the 65th minute.

Nandhakumar held onto the ball well on the left flank without any pressure from the East Bengal defence. He passes it on for Denechandra Meitei on the overlap as his cross was perfect for unmarked Jerry to slot it home.

In the 76th minute, it was Nandhakumar’s turn to score as the East Bengal defence, who had been nodding off occasionally, fell asleep.

A long diagonal ball from the right was handled well again by Nandhakumar Sekar, as he managed to skip past Ankit Mukherjee with a lucky bounce and slot it past scandalised Kamaljit.

East Bengal fans finished with tears in their eyes after their win over Bengaluru away and there were tears again as they failed to win any game at home yet.

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