ISL 2019-20: Odisha FC 2-0 Chennaiyin FC - Talking Points

First-half goals from Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Vinit Rai earned Odisha 2-0 over Chennaiyin FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

Odisha FC goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro denies Chennaiyin FC.

Odisha FC goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro denies Chennaiyin FC.   -  ISL Media

Odisha FC registered its second win in as many games at the Kalinga Stadium as it beat an out-of-sorts Chennaiyin FC 2-0 in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Monday.

Chennaiyin striker Nerijus Valskis missed a penalty in the 25th minute after he was brought down in the box by Shubham Sarangi. In the 37th minute, an error from Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Vishal Kaith allowed Jerry Mawihmingthanga to finish with a simple tap-in as Odisha took a 1-0 lead. Vinit Rai doubled the host's lead in the 41st minute when he unleashed a thunderous strike from outside the box.

Chennaiyin never looked like staging a fightback as chances were far and few in the second half, Owen Coyle's side stood rooted ninth in the ISL standings.

Here are Sportstar's talking points from an entertaining game in Bhubaneswar.

Coyle's defensive changes fail to impress

Chennaiyin manager Owen Coyle made three changes to his line up from the 3-4 loss to FC Goa by replacing defenders Masih Saighani, Tondonba Singh and Edwin Vanspaul with Eli Sabia, Laldinliana Renthlei and Jerry Lalrinzuala respectively. The returning Eli Sabia fared reasonably well making 10 clearances and blocked attempts from Xisco Hernandez and Aridane Santana. The same cannot be said about Renthlei who looked clueless against the marauding Nandhakumar Sekar.

Jerry Lalrinzuala, who was tasked to contain the threat of Jerry Mawihmingthanga, offered his namesake acres of space on the left flank. Lalrinzuala was once again absent at the far post when Mawihmingthanga finished into an open goal with a simple tap-in. Chennaiyin's backline dozed off when Aridane Santana was given the time to poke the ball towards Marcos Tebar who laid it off for Vinit Rai to smash home the second goal.

Influential Vinit Rai keeps Odisha going

After a tepid start to the match, where chances were far and few, Odisha came close when Vinit Rai went for an acrobatic effort from a corner in the 17th minute. That set the tone for the rest of the evening as Odisha threatened every time it won a set-piece. Rai's tenacity in the midfield allowed Tebar to express himself as the Odisha moved the ball quicker through the middle third.

Rai was the best defensive player on the pitch winning 5 of his 7 tackles without committing any fouls. The 22-year old capped off a brilliant performance with an unstoppable strike from outside the box to double his side's lead. Josep Gambau would be pleased with the performance but also worried after Rai was stretchered to the sidelines after he took a knock on his knee.

Valskis' miss proves costly

Odisha players were furious after the referee awarded a goal kick to Chennaiyin for a foul on keeper Vishal Kaith when Gaurav Bora headed at the far post. Chennaiyin were given the best chance to further unsettle Odisha when Nerujis Valskis earned a penalty after being pulled down by Shubham Sarangi in the box. Had the Lithuanian converted the spot kick, the match would've gone a different way.

Valskis smashed it over the bar which was met by a huge cheer by the noisy Bhubaneswar crowd. Rafael Crivellaro, who shone in the 3-4 loss against Goa, was unable to lift the energy of the attack which looked toothless in the final third. Anirudh Thapa, who was tasked to cut out Xisco Hernandez was always second best while Andre Schembri's only good contribution in the match was a cross at the near post which Valskis missed completely.

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