Odisha FC got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League (ISL 2021-22) clash at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa on Friday.
Odisha’s key striker Jonathas Cristian, who returned after an injury, started from the bench and was the decisive player as he paired up with fellow substitute Thoiba Singh to head the ball into the gaping net in the 81st minute.
The Kalinga Warriors' first chance of the game came in the 17th minute when Aridai Suarez's free-kick rattled the post. However, the first half of the game belonged to NorthEast United, which began the match dominating the attack.
With Deshorn Brown back in the side, Khalid Jamil’s side showered shots one after the other, with 13 shots compared to just two from Odisha at the end of the first half.
Odisha coach Kiko Ramirez decided to shift gears in the second half and replaced Lindon Krasniqi to bring on Jonathas. That turned the tables in the designated home side's favour.
Khalid Jamil's side, debilitated without its midfield talisman Federico Gallego, tried to press up the field, but it was all in vain. Multiple shots from Brown flew off target and Coureur’s missed an easy chance in the 62nd minute. The Highlanders threw the proverbial kitchen sink towards the end in search of an equaliser but had no fortune in front of goal and sunk to their third defeat of the season.
With the win, Odisha FC climbed to second spot on the table while Northeast United slipped to the ninth spot with four points after five games. Odisha faces Jamshedpur FC next, which is placed just below it, while Northeast United will be desperate for a win against Hyderabad FC in its next match on December 13.