Odisha FC finally managed to register their first victory of the ISL 2020 as they beat Kerala Blasters 4-2 on Thursday. In a high-scoring thriller, Diego Mauricio scored a brace as Odisha grabbed a crucial three points.Also Read - ISL: ATK Mohun Bagan Rope in Paul Pogba's Elder Brother Florentin Pogba From French Ligue 2 Club Sochaux
It was Kerala who opened the goal account in the game as Jordan Murray strike the opening goal in the 7th minute but an own goal from his teammate Jeakson Singh (22′) levelled the score. In the 42nd minute, Steven Taylor netted the second goal for Odisha. Also Read - ATK Mohun Bagan Sign Australian Defender Brendan Hamill From Melbourne City FC
Mauricio brought his A-Game to the table in the second half and put Odisha on top, while Gary Hooper (79′) scored a consolation for Kerala, but it proved to be not enough to spark a comeback. Also Read - Indian Football: Promotion/Relegation to be Introduced From 2022-23 Season Between ISL and I-League Clubs- Report
KP Rahul headed Facundo Pereyra’s free-kick at goal and a diving Arshdeep Singh could only parry it straight into Murray’s path. The latter made no mistake from a tight angle.
Odisha struck back 15 minutes later in a somewhat fortuitous fashion.
Jerry Mawihmingthanga found Mauricio on the right and his shot took a heavy deflection off Jeakson before trickling past a wrong-footed Albino Gomes.
Vicente Gomez almost came up with an equaliser as he headed in Pereyra’s cross, but it was straight at Arshdeep.
Kerala would rue the misses soon with Taylor taking advantage of some poor defending to give Odisha the lead just before half-time.
Jerry’s cross found Taylor unmarked at the far post and the English defender calmly slotted in.
Jerry missed a good chance straight after the restart, but Mauricio would soon ensure that his miss went unpunished. First, he scored Odisha’s third after Jerry’s lob found him clear on goal.
Ten minutes later, he scored a spectacular goal to put the result beyond doubt.
The Brazilian received the ball from Nandhakumar Sekhar and beat a defender before curling it past the keeper from outside the box.
Kerala had a glimmer of hope in the 79th minute when Gary Hooper netted their second.
Jordan Murray did well to put the ball in the box and found Hooper, who slashed at goal. His shot took a deflection off Taylor before going in.
The goal inspired the previously-downbeat Kerala players as they launched assault after assault on the Odisha goal.
However, the Odisha defence stood firm as their coach Stuart Baxter celebrated his first win of the season at the final whistle.
(With PTI Inputs)