Odisha FC heaped more misery on East Bengal with a 2-1 win in their Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco in Goa on Monday. (More Football News)
The win helps Odisha FC move to sixth place in the ISL table with 21 points after 15 matches (six wins, three draws and six defeats). And they still harbour a top-four finish to qualify for the play-offs.
For East Bengal, it's their 8th defeat of the season and they are 10th in the 11-team table with 10 points (one win and seven draws) from 16 matches.
Jonathas (23’) gave the Kalinga Warriors an early lead that lasted until Antonio Perosevic (64’) scored the equaliser in the second half.
Javier Hernandez (75’) helped Odisha regain the lead for OFC with a precise finish which proved to be the winner in the end.
In the early stages of the match, Odisha FC piled a lot of pressure and was finally rewarded with an early goal from Jonathas, with Javier Hernandez providing the assist. Hernandez made room on the right flank and served the ball on a platter for the striker, who tapped in from close range.
Looking for the equaliser, Hira Mondal took an attempt just before halftime but his left-footed strike went wayward.
The first half ended with the Kalinga Warriors keeping their one-goal advantage. The restart saw more sluggish gameplay as neither side was able to find inspiration in the final third.
The best chance to score the equaliser fell to Antonio Perosevic two minutes before the hour mark. A long ball from deep saw the forward find room behind the defensive line but his volley had too much elevation.
However, the Croatian made no mistake from a similar opportunity a few minutes later and scored the equaliser with a low finish into the bottom right corner.
Nevertheless, Odisha FC regained the lead ten minutes later through Hernandez. The midfielder received a lay-off from Jonathas who turned from scorer to provider. The right-footed shot from the Spaniard took a slight deflection before swerving into the back of the net.
Hernandez looked to have scored another a few minutes later but Mondal managed to make a goal-line clearance to deny him the goal.
The Red & Gold Brigade had four minutes of added time to find the leveller for the second time which eventually did not arrive, allowing OFC to bag the three points.
Odisha FC face the reigning champions Mumbai City FC in their next at the PJN Stadium on Sunday whereas East Bengal play an in-form Kerala Blasters FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Monday.