ISL 2020-21 highlights: Odisha FC beats Kerala Blasters FC 4-2

ISL 2020-21, OFC vs KBFC Updates: Catch the Indian Super League football score updates and commentary from the encounter between Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters in Goa.

Diego Mauricio celebrates his goal against Kerala Blasters FC with his Odisha FC teammates in Goa on Thursday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

This is Sportstar's blog/highlights of the ISL 2020-21 game between Kerala Blasters FC and Odisha FC on Thursday.

That's it for today. Thanks for tuning in!

That brings us to the end of our ISL coverage for the day. We will be back tomorrow for a mid-table fixture between NorthEast United FC and Hyderabad FC.

MATCH REPORT | ISL 2020-21 news: Odisha FC beats Kerala Blasters for first win of season

TALKING POINTS | ISL 2020-21, KBFC vs OFC: 'Ctrl+P' for Kerala Blasters, a happy ending at last for Baxter

Odisha FC forward Jerry Mawihmingthanga wins the 'Winning Pass of the Game' award for tonight's outing, while his teammate and Brazilian forward, Diego Mauricio, takes home the 'Player of the Match' honour.

Follow Sportstar's full coverage (Latest news, Interviews, Features, Points table, Quiz, Videos) of  ISL 2020-21.

So, Odisha FC stays at the bottom of the table despite its first victory of the season, with five points from nine matches. Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters FC remains at tenth position as well, with six points from the same number of games.

KBFC manager Kibu Vicuna: First, I want to say sorry to the Kerala Blasters fans because our performance tonight wasn't good enough. After this match, it's very difficult to feel good about the work we are doing. Especially after the second goal, we turned off. They (Odisha FC) won every second ball and dominated us on the field. It is very difficult to analyse this game because we have very few positives to take. I don't like excuses, and I'm completely responsible for tonight. I've always believed in my players and I was completely satisfied with the recruitment done in the summer. We have to work together to overcome this slump.

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OFC head coach Stuart Baxter: I'm relieved and pleased for the boys. This group of players have worked so hard. They understood the situation and stepped up. My feeling is secondary now, it's all about my players. We worked on having Jacob (Tratt) as the right-back. Playing with two centre-backs, as opposed to three, we pushed Jacob up the field. He linked well with Jerry (Mawihmingthanga) and Daniel (Lalhlimpuia) and it helped us. I'm happy that the change in strategy worked this time. We did concede a silly goal but the players put that behind and won the game. (Manuel) Onwu's injury was unfortunate but hope he returns soon. I fully believe in my players, and if they keep giving their best on the pitch, I'm happy whether it is a win, loss or draw.

Post-match reactions from both the camps coming up next.....

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

Odisha FC finally bags its first victory in the 2020-21 Indian Super League. It took nine games, but this should be satisfying for Stuart Baxter and his side.

READ | ISL 2020-21: Points table, goals scored, goal difference; Odisha gets first win

Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters FC did start the match in a bright manner. However, it lost steam very early. Diego Mauricio and company came out all guns blazing after conceding.

An own goal, a tap-in from captain Steven Taylor and brace from Mauricio cancelled out Jordan Murray's opener as OFC beat KBFC tonight. Gary Hooper's late consolation might have just helped the GD a bit.

Podcast: Shyam Vasudevan and Aashin Prasad review the best of Indian Super League in the year 2020 on The Full Time Show.

 

AND IT'S FULL-TIME! FINAL SCORE: ODISHA FC 4 - 2 KERALA BLASTERS FC!!!

90+3' SAVE! Arshdeep Singh makes another save. This was a straightforward one. A few moments ago, the hero of the match Diego Mauricio made way for Mohd. Sajid Dhot.

90' Five minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the second half! Kerala is coming forward with numbers here. VERY CLOSE! After a game of pinball inside the box, Odisha gets away without any damage. Two consecutive shots from Rohit Kumar and Lalthathanga Khawlhring, respectively, were blocked and Bakary Kone's bicycle kick in the end missed the target by a whisker.

88' This is easily Odisha FC's best performance in the final third this season. The team has successfully completed more touches and passes than Kerala Blasters FC in the region tonight.

85' CORNER FOR ODISHA! The substitute Marcelinho will take it. His cross towards the far post is received by none of his teammates as Kerala Blasters wins a goal-kick.

82' SUBSTITUTION! Odisha FC manager Stuart Baxter finally makes a change. He deploys Marcelinho into the middle to replace Daniel Lalhlimpuia on the field.

79' GOOOOAAALLLL!!! GARY HOOPER SCORES!!!!! KERALA 2 - 4 ODISHA!!! The Blasters pull a goal back. Jordan Murray evades a challenge from Gaurav Bora and sends a cross into the middle. Hooper takes a touch and has a shot on target. The ball gets deflected off Steven Taylor and finds the back of the net.

76' AND IT'S TIME FOR THE FINAL COOLING BREAK OF THE MATCH!

73' CLOSE! An amazing long ball is sent towards KBFC forward Jordan Murray up front. However, OFC goalkeeper comes off his line to clear the ball away.

70' ANOTHER CHANCE FOR OFC! Diego Mauricio once again receives the ball off a deflection. He tries to send in a cross into the box. But none of his teammates are able to get to the ball. Goal-kick for KBFC.

67' YELLOW CARD! Kerala Blasters FC's Vicente Gomez is booked by the referee for a mistimed tackle on an Odisha FC player. OFC wins a free-kick in midfield.

65' UNBELIEVABLE SAVE!!! Diego Mauricio is high on confidence here. He received a cross from a Vinit Rai corner and directed the ball towards goal with a brilliant header. But Kerala keeper Albino Gomes got the slightest of touches on the ball, which hit the crossbar and went out of play.

63' GOOD SAVE! KBFC's Facundo Pereyra receives the ball in midfield and lets one fly. OFC keeper Arshdeep Singh reacted well with a dive to his right and pushed the ball away at the right time.

60' GOOOAAAALLLLL!!!!! DIEGO MAURICIO SCORES AGAIN!!!! ODISHA 4 - 1 KERALA!!! The KBFC defence is crumbling under pressure here. This is a brilliant solo effort. Nandhakumar Sekar played a wonderful through ball to Mauricio, who dribbled past two Kerala players on the left flank and fired a shot past goalkeeper Albino Gomes.

58' DOUBLE SUBSTITUTION!!! KBFC manager Kibu Vicuna brings in Prasanth K and Gary Hooper for Sandeep Singh and Rahul KP in the middle.

56' FREE-KICK FOR OFC! Kerala Blasters' Vicente Gomez brings down Daniel Lalhlimpuia from behind. The referee has a word with the KBFC player and decides not to give a card.

53' The Kalinga Warriors had made the worst start to an ISL season ever and they were down early on in the game. But they have come back stronger to bag a two-goal lead now. Over 30 minutes to go though!

50' GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!! DIEGO MAURICIO SCORES!!!! ODISHA 3 - 1 KERALA!!! Another quick team move here. Jacob Tratt sent in a long ball towards Jerry Mawihmingthanga, who chipped the ball over a Kerala defender to find Mauricio. The OFC forward remained calm and found the back of the net with a composed finish.

47' WHAT A MISS!!! This was a glorious opportunity for Odisha FC to put the game to bed. Nandhakumar Sekar won the ball on the left wing and moved forward. He evaded a Kerala player and passed the ball to Diego Mauricio who set up Jerry Mawihmigthanga inside the box. Jerry, who was in a very good position, slams the ball over the bar.

THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY!

Kerala Blasters FC dominated the first 20 minutes of the game. It could have easily scored more than one goal considering the number of chances it had. But Odisha FC made it pay for the missed opportunities by scoring two goals and taking the lead before the mid-match break. Forty-five minutes to go. Stay Tuned!

AND IT'S HALF-TIME!!!

45+2' SUBSTITUTION! Kerala manager Kibu Vicuna is forced to make a change as Nishu Kumar is injured. The Indian full-back is replaced by Bakary Kone in the middle.

45' Two minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first half! Odisha FC clearly looks the better side now. Kerala Blasters FC is a bit out of sorts.

42' GOAALLLL!!!!! STEVEN TAYLOR SCOREESSS!!!!!!! ODISHA 2 - 1 KERALA!!! The Blasters defence just went to sleep there. It was an OFC free-kick. Jerry Mawihmingthanga took it. His cross into the box fell straight to skipper Taylor who slotted the ball home with his right foot.

38' BLOCK! Nandhakumar Sekar receives the ball at the edge of the box for Odisha FC. He dribbles past a Kerala Blasters player and has a shot on target. But the ball is blocked. The rebound falls to Jerry who places the ball well wide of goal.

36' CORNER FOR ODISHA! Jerry Mawihmingthanga will take the set-piece as usual. He sends in a cross but puts too much power on the ball. It travels out and the referee signals a goal-kick.

34' WHAT A SAVE! Strong hands from Kerala keeper Albino Gomes. Diego Mauricio tried to exchange a one-two pass with his teammate Nandhakumar Sekar. But Nishu Kumar came up with a partial interception. The rebound fell back to Mauricio who fired a shot on target from close range. Gomes reacted well to keep the scoreline 1-1.

31' AND IT'S TIME FOR THE COOLING BREAK!

28' ANOTHER KERALA CHANCE! Rahul KP runs forward with the ball. He lets one fly from the edge of the box. The ball takes a deflection off Gaurav Bora and troubles Arshdeep. But the OFC shotstopper makes a good save. Odisha regains possession.

25' CORNER FOR KBFC! Facundo Pereyra plays the ball into the box. Vicente Gomez gets to it and heads it across. But Arshdeep Singh dives at the right time to make the crucial save. However. Kerala wastes the set-piece.

22' GOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!!! OWN GOAL!!!! ODISHA 1 - 1 KERALA!!! The equaliser comes with a bit of luck. Jerry Mawihmingthanga finds Diego Mauricio with a good pass on the right flank. He rushed forward towards the box. The OFC forward's low cross into the middle hits Jeakson Singh's leg and wrongfoots Albino Gomes as the ball goes into goal.

18' OFC CHANCE! Hendry Antonay provides a cross from the left flank. Diego Mauricio heads it back towards Daniel Lalhlimpuia. The Odisha forward unleashes a shot and Nishu Kumar puts in a sliding tackle to avert the danger for Kerala.

16' FOUL! One number 17 brings down another. Rahul KP takes down Jerry Mawihmingthanga from behind. He is extremely lucky to not receive a yellow card here.

13' SHOT! Facundo Pereyra takes a shot from long with his left foot. He troubles Arshdeep with it. The OFCgoalkeeper punches the ball out. He could have caught it. The referee signals a throw-in for KBFC.

10' CLOSE! Odisha comes close to scoring but the Kerala defence is alert. There are shouts for a foul just outside the box but the referee waves his hands.

7' GOOOOAAALLLL!!!! JORDAN MURRAY SCORES!!! KERALA 1 - 0 ODISHA!! This was a long ball from the midfield by Facundo Pereyra. Rahul K. P. got a header on target. Odisha custodian Arshdeep made a save. However, the ball fell to Murray at a narrow angle. The Australian striker found the back of the net with a neat finish.

5' KERALA CHANCE! Jordan Murray gets the ball just outside the box. He evades an opposition player and fires a shot on target. But the ball goes straight to OFC goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh.

4' Manuel Onwu hasn't started today's game. He was replaced at the last moment by Daniel Lalhlimpuia in the playing XI. Looks like an injury.

3' CORNER FOR ODISHA! A set-piece so early into the game can always be dangerous. Jerry Mawihmingthanga sends a cross into the box from the right. The ball falls to captain Steven Taylor who is unable to hit the target with a header.

2' Diego Mauricio will be crucial for Odisha FC's chances today. He has been the team's biggest contributor up front, attempting 27 shots and seven on target, both are the most by an Odisha player in ISL 7. 

AND THE MATCH BEGINS!

7:30 PM: Facundo Pereyra has created 19 chances, the most by a Kerala player and only 5 players have created more chances in ISL 7. In fact, Facundo Pereyra has created 12 more chances than the next best Kerala player highlighting the team's reliance on him to create chances.

7:15 PM: Test your knowledge on all the latest happenings in the seventh season of the Indian Super League with this quiz.

ISL 2020-21 Quiz — From quickest brace to saving grace

7:00 PM: Both Kerala Blasters (six points, 10th place) and Odisha FC (two points, 11th place) are struggling in the 2020-21 ISL and need a win desperately. Odisha is yet to claim a victory this edition. The rain tonight is making it a tougher task for the two teams. Who will come out on top? Only time will tell.

 

6:45 PM: FACT OF THE DAY! Kerala's Jordan Murray (Central Coast Mariners) played twice against Odisha's Steven Taylor (Wellington Phoenix) in A-League during the 2018/19 season. They met once again in the 2019/20 edition when Murray was playing for Central Coast Mariners and Steven was playing for Wellington Phoenix.

Meanwhile, Gary Hooper (Kerala Blasters) and Steven Taylor (Odisha FC) were teammates at Wellington Phoenix in A-League during the 2019/20 season. They played 21 matches together back then.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

 

6:30 PM: The team lineups are out!

KBFC XI - Albino Gomes (GK), Sandeep Singh, Nishu Kumar, Jessel Carneiro (C), Abdul Hakku, Jeakson Singh, Rahul KP, Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Jordan Murray, Facundo Pereyra.

COACH: Kibu Vicuna.

OFC XI - Arshdeep Singh (GK), Hendry Antonay, Gaurav Bora, Jacob Tratt, Steven Taylor (C), Cole Alexander, Vinit Rai, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Nandhakumar Sekar, Diego Mauricio, Manuel Onwu.

COACH: Stuart Baxter.

6:15 PM: STAT ATTACK! Odisha has conceded 7 goals from set pieces, joint most by a team in ISL 7. On the other hand, Kerala has taken second lowest shots in the league (87) while Odisha have taken third lowest (91).

6:00 PM: In case you missed it, Bengaluru FC and its head coach Carles Cuadrat had mutually parted ways yesterday. Naushad Moosa had been named as the interim head coach with immediate effect. (FULL STORY)

5:45 PM: As Kerala Blasters FC takes on Odisha FC in match 50 of the 2020-21 ISL, here are the predicted starting lineups and possible fantasy picks from the fixture. (READ MORE)

Follow Sportstar's full coverage (Latest news, Interviews, Features, Points table, Quiz, Videos) of ISL 2020-21.

The seventh edition of the Indian Super League got underway inside a bio-bubble in Goa on November 20.

The tournament, spanning over four months, will see 11 teams play each other in a league and playoff format across three venues. Following the inclusion of SC East Bengal, this season will feature 115 games, up from 95 last season.

ISL 2020: Points Table

MATCH PREVIEW:

Odisha FC is the only team that has failed to register a win in the 2020-21 edition of the Indian Super League. It will be hungry to open the account against Kerala Blasters at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Thursday.

Kerala has posted only one win and is lying ninth among the 11 teams. The men from Kochi have struggled to score freely. The fact that they have scored just eight goals – only the bottom-placed Odisha has netted less – should be a worrying statistic. But coach Kibu Vicuna isn't disheartened. “The good thing is that we created chances,” he said.

READ| ISL 2020-21 News: Bengaluru FC and Carles Cuadrat part ways

“The bad thing is that we did not score. We are working to improve in this aspect. Every game is different.”

He added he had respect for Odisha. “They did not deserve to lose the last match against East Bengal. They have good players. So we will focus on having a good game, creating chances and taking them."

His counterpart Stuart Baxter concurred. “The biggest issue we have right now is that despite playing well in most games, we haven't been able to turn it into results,” he said. “Simply putting the ball into your net and stopping the ball from going into your opponent's net — how do we do that and how do we do that more efficiently? Despite playing reasonably good football in most games, and dominating at times, those are not being translated into results. That can damage belief.”

ISL 2020 will be televised live at 7.30 pm IST on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.