Welcome to Sportstar’s highlights of the Indian Super League clash between Odisha FC and East Bengal FC, being played at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Save! Passi gets a cross from the left and he heads it on target. However, Amrinder does not move at all and makes an easy regulation save.
Foul! Ankit Mukherjee fouls Denechandram Meitei to get a yellow card as he looks frustrated after his goal, which seemed on-side after a replay, was ruled off-side by the linesmen
As the game trudges into the final minutes of the second-half, it has been a tale of East Bengal’s blunt attacks being stifled consistently by Odisha. The win would take Odisha two places up to fifth, while East Bengal would stay third from bottom.
Off-side! East Bengal tries to attack on the counter and Alex Lima getting the ball into the box with a cross, and Ankit shoots into the net, but the referee rules the goal out. The replay, however, shows Ankit was on-sdie.
Change for East Bengal! Mohammad Rakip replaces Cleiton Silva, who did give EBFC the lead, but Odisha has well and truly dominated the match since, completing a comeback.
This will be the eighth loss for East Bengal in 12 games so far, while Odisha will be relieved if it can pull of the win, something that looks an increasing possibility now.
Chance! Odisha tries attack with set-play again. Nandha delivers a cross from the left for Pedro. Suvam tries to get to it, but fails to catch it. However, EBFC defence clears it away from Pedro eventually
East Bengal trying a counter-attack, with a cross from the left met by Cleiton, who passes it to Kyriakou. The substitute looks to score from distance, but shoots miles over the goal.
Change for Odisha! Osama Malik looks to walk off with some sort of a muscle injury, while Victor replaces him.
East Bengal looks to play with crosses from the flanks, with Ankit trying one from the right and then Lima trying another from the opposite end. But Odisha, , which has no wins in its last four games, looks desperate to stick to the lead as they clear the ball away.
Odisha replaces Diego Mauricio with Pedro Martin and the OFC striker is not happy at all with the substitution.
Double change for East Bengal! In: Haokip, Kyriakou, Out: Naorem, O’Doherty
East Bengal looks for a goal, with O’Doherty trying a header from inside the box but the ball lands safely into the gloves of Amrinder Singh.
Chance! Odisha tries a goal from a free-kick, with Diego Mauricio trying to complete his hattrick with a stunning goal from distance. Suvam, however, gets his glove to it this time to deny a fourth strike for the Juggernauts
Odisha gets the ball on its control and looks to start an attack up the pitch with Thoiba and Raynier dominating the midfield in tandem. Mauricio is then fed the ball, who gets behind the EB defence, beats Ivan and shoots, only to see the ball go into the side-net.
East Bengal tries an attack early in the second half. Cleiton gets the ball in front of the box, passes to Aniket, whose shot is deflected out for a corner kick.
As the match trudges into the final minute of first-half regulation time, Odisha continues to attack. Raynier delivers a cross for Thoiba, whose header flies over the net.
Chance! Odisha gets a chance to strike with a long throw. While the ball is somehow cleared by Lalchungnunga, Nandha gets to the ball to shoot but the ball is just wide.
East Bengal looks to press high and Ankit runs up the pitch, challenges Nandha and fouls him to end the forward rup of play for Constantine’s side.
Raynier and Mauricio pair up again, with the final pass to Mauricio and he loses the ball after a touch from Chungnunga and the OFC striker goes down appealing for a penalty. The referee is not interested and asks him to get up and lets the game continue.
Saul Crespo dribbles through the East Bengal legs along the right flank, turns to his left to cross, but the cross is eventually cleared by East Bengal.
Save! East Bengal tries an attack from the left. Chungnunga beats Narender and crosses for Lima, who heads on target, only to see Amrinder make a regulation save.
East Bengal looks to get back its composure with back passes and tries to start an attack quite immediately after getting back possession, but Lima is ruled offside.
Odisha looking for an equaliser, but Constanine, a coach with the reputation to have defensively solid sides, has kept EBFC in proper sync so far as the red-and-gold brigade enjoys the slender lead.
East Bengal looking to maintain possession, but Mauricio drops deep to get the ball back and pairs with Raynier to fins a gap in the EBFC defence. They get a corner kick, which is cleared by East Bengal
Miss! Odisha makes a timely attempt to equalise when Thoiba and Mauricio attack together and the former gets a late cross to Jerry. But Lalchungnunga sticks to the OFC winger, ensuring the resulting strike is hit wide off-target.
A white shirt clung to every Odisha player and East Bengal makes a run up the pitch after taking possession of the ball. Cleiton delivers a cross for Jangra, but the youngster is surrounded by OFC defenders and EBFC is forced to make a back pass to maintain possession.
Odisha starts playing for the back, while East Bengal’s attempts to press up the pitch has turned out to be futile. Alex tries to get the ball from Thoiba and ends up fouling him and OFC gets a free-kick.
Odisha goes for another attack, with Thoiba starting the movement, plays a one-two with Rayneir, who then passes to Crespo, but East Bengal, with a number of white shirts in the box, deny any further chance of a shot on target.
Odisha starts the match, to challenge for an attack, but Suvam is there to see the ball out as the match shifts to the midfield.
7:00 pm: Almost an unchanged East Bengal!
Constantine has decided to go with an unchanged side after the win against Bengaluru FC. Himanshu Jangra replaces suspendes Suhair VP as the only change. Odisha, on the other hand, has made three changes from its previous match.
Odisha FC will host East Bengal FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday, in Matchweek 14 of the Indian Super League (ISL). Odisha FC sit in sixth place on the table, seven points ahead of East Bengal FC in eighth, but have been presented yet another chance to solidify its playoffs charge after FC Goa went down to Hyderabad FC on Thursday.
Odisha FC impressed in patches against Mumbai City FC last week but ultimately lost 4-2, in what turned out to be its third loss in four games.
In that period, Odisha FC has picked up only a point, but FC Goa’s own up-and-down form means that the two teams are still level on 19 points at the lower end of the top six.
Odisha FC has been tested on both ends of the pitch, with their defence conceding eight goals in the last four games, while the goals against Mumbai City FC were its first ones in that period.
The big positives have been the performances of Diego Mauricio and Nandhakumar Sekar. The former has scored five goals and registered three assists this season, and produced one of the moments of the season with his second goal last week, while the latter has contributed to four goals.
Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau was quite upbeat about his team’s chances to win the game against East Bengal FC in the pre-match press conference.
“We know that this is an important game. We know that these three points means a lot for us, and this is the way that we approach the week,” he said
East Bengal FC got back to winning ways after suffering three losses in a row with a 2-1 victory over Bengaluru FC in its last game. It has one of the top three goalscorers in the ISL, as things stand.
Cleiton Silva has scored seven of its 13 goals, and head coach Stephen Constantine will know that his Brazilian forward needs support from the other players in the squad to climb up the table - the recent forms of Odisha FC and FC Goa have meant that East Bengal FC could still make a late charge for the playoffs. (Club statistics)
But it’s not just up front that the side has conceded. East Bengal FC has also conceded 20 goals this season. Constantine said he was not too concerned about this stat when speaking in the pre-match press conference.
“Honestly, if I win 2-1, I don’t care. If I lose 3-0, then yeah, I care. We don’t deliberately try to concede goals. This is the nature of the game. I would be more concerned if we haven’t won four games. If that makes sense,” he said.
Odisha FC vs East Bengal head-to-head
Odisha FC has only lost once to East Bengal FC in their five ISL meetings. It has come out on top every other time. It beat East Bengal FC 4-2 when the two sides met each other earlier in the season on November 18.