ISL: Aridane Santana seals Odisha's fourth win on trot

Odisha FC made a strong case for playoff qualifications with a 2-1 win against Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League on Wednesday.

Odisha is fourth on the table with 21 points from 13 matches and a five-point advantage over fifth-placed Mumbai City, which has a game in hand.   -  ISL Media

It was a story of missed chances for Hyderabad FC which even frittered away a great start when Marcelinho scored the fastest goal of the season, as it suffered yet another defeat - this time a 1-2 loss to Odisha FC in the Indian Super League at GMC Balayogi Stadium here on Wednesday night.

For Odisha, this was the fourth straight win. The home team, on the other hand, got stuck at the bottom with just one win from 13 games so far.

For the sparse holiday crowd, there was something to cheer straight away, thanks to the brilliance of Marcelinho who showed great opportunism to slot in a right-footer to beat the Odisha custodian from a very difficult angle.

It all started with Bobo’s diagonal cross to Nestor Gordillo on the right flank. He in turn relayed a cross to the approaching Nikhil Poojary whose attempt was thwarted by goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro. But, the rebound was just good enough for Marcelinho to find the target in the 40th second of the match.

Odisha fought back remarkably well soon through Aridane Santana who capitalised on a goalmouth melee. Shubham Sarangi’s throw-in was latched on to by Carlos Delgado inside the box and his shot was saved by goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh, but the lurking Aridane was quick to seize on the rebound to score the equaliser in the 15th minute. This also resulted in Hyderabad debutant Dimple Bhagat getting an yellow card for dangerous play.

Match highlights | Hyderabad vs Odisha

Hyderabad had a chance to nudge ahead but Bobo, who had a forgetful evening, failed to convert the spot kick, awarded in the 33rd minute after Nestro’s cross deflected off defender Sarangi’s arm.

Ironically, it was a penalty which saw Odisha take what turned out to be a match-winning lead when Bhagat committed a serious foul on an advancing Santana who positioned himself beautifully for a cross. The Spaniard was spot on in the 45th minute to trigger off celebrations in his camp and it was a double blow too as Bhagat was given second a yellow card too just before half-time.

Odisha could have scored the third goal but was thwarted by the efficacy of custodian Kamaljit and Ashish Rai who stopped Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Aridane from scoring.

Even in the dying minutes, Hyderabad had a chance to remind the fans of its reputation of scoring late goals - it has scored seven of the 13 so far this season after 75 minutes of play.

But, Odisha goalkeeper Dorronsoro brought off a brilliant save to ward off a superb header from Giles Barnes and soon even Bobo’s attempt from close range went over the bar.

By all means, it was a spirited display by Hyderabad after head coach Phil Brown was sacked and assistant coach Mehrajuddin Wadoo took charge even as new head coach Albert Roca watched the proceedings from the stands.

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