The dry spell that Odisha FC was going through this season finally came to an end tonight. The 4-2 victory over the struggling Kerala Blasters tonight would surely bring a huge boost in their morale going forward.
In a match between two teams which are placed at the bottom of the points table, there sure were a few goals to witness. In the end, it was the eastern coast side that had the last laugh.
The proceedings were started early by Jordan Murray of the Kerala Blasters. It was in the 7th minute when he picked up an unclean stop by Arshdeep Singh and clinically finished it.
However, the lead was only a short-lived one as the Juggernauts equalised in the 22nd minute. With an own goal from Jeakson Singh, they tied the score. Diego Mauricio’s beautifully crafted shot took a deflection from the opposing midfielder and went into the goal.
Jeakson’s own goal opened up the game a fair bit which saw Arshdeep making a couple of glorious saves to deny Vicente Gomez and Rahul KP. His counterpart, Albino Gomes too pulled off an amazing save to deny Mauricio a sure goal opportunity and not let OFC take the lead.
But just as we were about to enter the second half, Steven Taylor’s goal put Odisha FC in the front in the 42nd minute. From being one down to being 2-1 up now, all that within the first half was indeed a treat for us fans to watch.
Jerry Mawihmingthanga curled a lobbed up corner towards the far post and the KBFC defence were caught napping, and an unmarked Steven Taylor pushed the ball into his near-post for the perfect lead.
The Blasters also suffered an injury in the cusp of the second half as fullback Nishu Kumar limped out of the ground and was substituted by Bakary Kone.
The Kalinga Warriors had their tails up from the onset of the second half. After missing a sitter, Jerry Mawihmingthanga then set up Mauricio for another goal in the 50th minute, which he gladly finished off with perfection. The scoreboard read 3-1, and it was a major blow for Kerala.
The Blasters subbed off Rahul KP and Sandeep Singh for Gary Hooper and Prasanth K in hopes of a turnaround. Ye, they ended up almost immediately conceding a goal, and it was that man Mauricio again in the score sheet. He cut in from the corner beating a couple of KBFC defenders and scored a sitter from the edge of the box, 4-1.
Kerala Blasters brought in another couple of substitutions during the latter part of the second half in an attempt to reduce the difference. Gary Hooper scored one for the Blasters in the 79th minute but it was almost too little too late.
Jordan Murray recovered from a good tackle but recovered quickly and fed the ball to Gary Hooper who finished it with flair. The score-line remained unchanged for the rest of the match. Diego Mauricio was adjudged the Hero of the match.
It was a comprehensive win for Odisha FC, their first of the season and they would want to keep their goal-scoring prowess intact against Chennaiyin FC on the 10th of January. Kerala Blasters would want to go back and make a couple of changes in their defensive game when they meet Jamshedpur FC on 10th January.