ISL 2021-22: Odisha beats NorthEast United 2-0 to dream of top-four yet again

With the win, Odisha climbed four places to fifth on the table and a top-four position is no more a distant dream for it.

Daniel Lalhlimpuia (right)scored from a tap-in, as Aridai Suarez delivered the ball on a plate from the left – his first goal in three years.   -  ISL

The Indian Super League (ISL) returned to action after a brief hiatus as Odisha FC beat NorthEast United FC at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, moving close to a top-four place.

NorthEast United had a further debilitated forward line with Deshorn Brown, its highest goalscorer, and Rochharzela, both ruled out, and Marcelinho, its recent signing, unavailable.

Odisha, on the other hand, looked hungry to get back to winning ways under new management.

And it did.

AS IT HAPPENED | ISL 2021-22 NorthEast United FC 0-2 Odisha FC HIGHLIGHTS: OFC completes league double over NEUFC

In the 17th minute, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, making his second start for OFC, scored from a tap-in, as Aridai Suarez delivered the ball on a plate from the left – his first goal in three years.

Five minutes later, Javier Hernandez floated a ball in for Aridai Suarez from the right, as the latter shuffled to his right and shot, giving OFC a comfortable margin following poor goalkeeping by Mirshad Michu before the half-an-hour mark.

Hernandez tried to add to the lead before half-time with a curling free-kick, but Michu made up for his error with a save. He followed it up with another save from a Liridon Krasniqi shot in the 84th minute.

In the second half, it was Khalid Jamil’s side that had its foot on the gas, with captain Hernan Santana coming very close to scoring with a volley.

Santana, on receiving the ball from a throw-in, had decided to go for goal with his second touch, only to see the woodwork deny him of what could have been one of the most remarkable goals of the season.

The Highlanders also came close to opening the scoring in the second half, when Laldanmawia Ralte made a run in front of Manvir Singh in the box to score from a set-piece. However, the goal was ruled off-side with the replay showing Manvir in an off-side position.

With the win, Odisha did not just win three points but climbed four places to fifth on the table and a top-four position is no more a distant dream for it. NorthEast United, on the other hand, lost to OFC for the second time this season, remaining second from bottom.

The Result: NorthEast United 0 lost to Odisha FC 2 (17’ Daniel, 22’ Aridai)

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