For the first time this year, Odisha FC won three straight matches as they defeated NorthEast United FC 2-1 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday in the Indian Super League (ISL).
In the 25th minute, Nandhakumar Sekar gave the Juggernauts the lead with his fourth goal of the year. However, replacement Rochharzela tied the score in the 60th minute with his first-touch goal.
In the 78th minute, Jerry Mawihmingthanga scored Odisha FC’s 99th ISL goal to move the Juggernauts into the second position. Pedro Martin was benched in favour of Diego Mauricio, and the hosts only made one other alteration to their starting eleven.
Sekar, who recorded a goal for the third straight game, gave Odisha FC the lead in the 25th minute. Sekar was waiting at the far post to tuck the ball into the open goal after Raynier Fernandes slid a through ball into the area for Mauricio, who fired a low ball across the goal face.
Rochharzela scored the equalizer in the second half just five minutes after entering the game. Joe Zoherliana, the right back, sent a low pass into the penalty area. At the hour mark, Rochharzela received the ball after everyone else had missed it and scored with his first touch to tie the score.
The offside flag prevented Odisha FC from scoring in the 73rd minute. Five minutes after the incident, the Juggernauts did score a goal. When the goalkeeper parried a shot from Crespo, it went right to Jerry, who scored the winning goal for the home team.
The tight victory allowed Odisha FC move ahead of Hyderabad FC and into second position while maintaining their perfect home record. NorthEast United FC was still struggling to make an impression at the bottom of the standings. The teams will resume play on Saturday, December 10.
Odisha FC will take on FC Goa, and NorthEast United FC will engage Chennaiyin FC at home. (ANI)