Odisha FC another defeat in the Indian Super League 2021 as Esmael Goncalves powered Chennaiyin FC to their third win of the season on Wednesday. Goncalves netted a brace in the first half as Chennaiyin FC took early control in the game.Also Read - ISL: SC East Bengal Coach Mario Rivera Says Sometimes You Need to Stop Motivating Players Ahead of Kolkata Derby Encounter Against ATK Mohun Bagan
Chennaiyin, who were struggling in the league to score goals, played a dominant football against under-fire Odisha. Also Read - ISL: SC East Bengal Coach Mario Rivera Looking Forward to Big Challenge as Mood-Lifter, Says Will Surely Improve Our Position in the Table Ahead of FC Goa Clash
It was in the 15th minute when Goncalves scored his first goal to give Chennaiyin an early lead, soon after six minutes he converted a penalty to put his team on the top. Also Read - ISL: Clubs Call Urgent Meeting For Increasing COVID-19 Cases- Report
While for Odisha, Diego Mauricio scored a screamer in the 64h minute to give them some hope but eventually, lack of chance created by the players hurt them.
However, Mauricio reduced the margin after the change of ends to keep Odisha in the hunt. But Chennaiyin held fort to secure the win, which lifted them all the way to fifth place in the standings.
Goncalves had the chance to put his team ahead in the fifth minute when he got in behind the Odisha defence, but with only goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh to beat, he blasted his chance over.
However, he made amends for that 10 minutes later with a well-taken goal. Gaurav Bora failed to deal with a long ball from Rahim Ali and it fell towards Goncalves, who did not make a mistake this time.
Chennaiyin doubled their lead six minutes later. Bora was again at fault, hacking down Anirudh Thapa in the box. Goncalves stepped up to take the spot-kick and sent Arshdeep the wrong way.
Chennaiyin defended well after securing a comfortable lead as Odisha struggled to create clear-cut chances. The closest they got in the first half was in the 37th minute when Manuel Onwu found himself with the ball at his feet and a sight on goal, but he shot wide.
With a couple of early inroads into the Odisha box, Chennaiyin looked the team likelier to score. However, Mauricio, who replaced Marcelo Pereira at halftime, had other plans as he pulled one back for his team in spectacular fashion with a long-range curler.
Chennaiyin had a great opportunity to restore their lead late on when Lallianzuala Chhangte, after an excellent run, squared the ball to substitute Thoi Singh.
However, the veteran, despite only having the keeper to beat, failed to get his shot on target.
Odisha almost took advantage of this in the 85th minute when Daniel Lalhlimpuia managed to get a shot in from just outside the box but keeper Vishal Kaith pulled off an excellent diving save.
Odisha piled on the pressure in the closing minutes but were unable to find the equaliser.
(With PTI Inputs)