ISL 2020-21, OFC vs HFC talking points: Midfield battle, Roca's approach, Liston's cameo

ISL 2020: Hyderabad FC registered its first three points of the Indian Super League season after the win over Odisha FC. Here are he talking points from the game.

Aridane Santana celebrates his goal against Odisha FC with his Hyderabad FC teammates in Goa on Monday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Hyderabad FC registered a comfortable 1-0 win over Odisha FC in its opening game of the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) season at the GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim.

The winner came in the first half when Aridane Santana scored from the spot after a handball from Steven Taylor inside the box. 

Here are the talking points from the game.

OFC-HFC match report

Roca brings in new approach

Hyderabad has undergone a sea of changes during the off-season. Albert Roca, who was appointed early last year, had played a pivotal role in setting up the team but had to leave the project when FC Barcelona came calling. His replacement Manuel Marquez Roca seems to be making the most of the good work left in place for him.

There appears to be an identity in Hyderabad's football which wasn't evident last season, when the team finished bottom of the table. Hyderabad dominated possession and took the game to Odisha from the first whistle.

Hyderabad looked disciplined and organised at the back as it held on to its first clean-sheet in 19 ISL matches.

AS IT HAPPENED

Odisha lose midfield battle

Luis Sastre, Mohammed Yasir and Hitesh Sharma bossed the midfield battle against Odisha's midfield of Thoiba Singh, Saurabh Meher and Marcelinho. The Spaniard Sastre pulled the strings with 53 completed passes - the most by any player. Marcelinho had a poor outing and was hooked for a teenager Laishram Premjit Singh in the 53rd minute.

Odisha's Marcelinho had a game to forget in Bambolim. - ISL MEDIA

 

Odisha's midfielders struggled to make the transition from the midfield into the attacking third to test Subrata Pal in between the sticks. It was missing central midfielders Vinit Rai and Cole Alexander, who weren't part of the match-day squad.

Odisha coach Stuart Baxter rued the loose passes in midfield and complained about the lack of cohesion in the post match presentation. "We didn't keep the ball well in the middle and had to bing Manuel Onwu into the middle," said Baxter.

Hyderabad's Liston Colaco put on an entertaining cameo in the second half. - ISL Media

 

Liston dazzles

The 22-year-old attacker Liston Colaco came on for a 30-minute cameo which Odisha defenders struggled to live with. He played as the furthest forward and his dribbling and direct runs at the Odisha defenders drew in fouls, which allowed Hyderabad to slow down the game.

The Goan-born Colaco made the move to Hyderabad in January from FC Goa this year in search of first team minutes but wasn't able to make an impression in a faltering campaign for his new side. This could be a big season for Colaco and Hyderabad.

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