he penultimate match of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 league phase saw Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters FC play out a thrilling 4-4 draw at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Striker Manuel Onwu was the hero for the home team with a hat-trick, while Kerala captain Bartholomew Ogbeche scored a brace on the night. It was both teams’ final match of the ISL 2019-20 season. Also Read - OFC vs MCFC Dream11 Team Prediction, Fantasy Tips Indian Super League: Captain, Vice-captain, Predicted XIs For Today's Odisha FC vs Mumbai City FC ISL Match at GMC Stadium, Bambolim 7.30 PM IST February 24 Wednesday
The home team struck within the first minute as Jerry Mawihmingthanga set up Onwu with the brilliant cross. The Spaniard headed in his 5th goal of the season to give Odisha a 1-0 lead. The advantage, however, lasted barely five minutes. Messi Bouli’s driven cross from the left flank was turned into his own net by Odisha defender Narayan Das as the visitors drew level. Also Read - SCEB vs NEUFC Dream11 Team Prediction Indian Super League 2021: Captain, Vice-captain, Fantasy Playing Tips, Predicted XIs For Today's SC East Bengal vs NorthEast United FC ISL Football Match at Fatorda Stadium, Goa 7.30 PM IST February 23 Tuesday
The two early goals set up an entertaining contest with both teams looking to seize the initiative. Odisha had a couple of half chances at one end while at the other, Bartholomew Ogbeche forced a brilliant save from Odisha goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro in the 13th minute. Fifteen minutes later, however, Dorronsoro had no chance as Messi controlled Jessel Carneiro’s crossfield pass and fired in a vicious shot to make it 2-1 in Kerala’s favour. Also Read - BFC vs FCG Dream11 Team Predictions, Fantasy Football Tips For Indian Super League: Captain, Vice-captain, Predicted XIs For Today's Bengaluru FC vs FC Goa ISL Match at Fatorda Stadium 7.30 PM IST February 21 Sunday
Odisha hit right back in the 36th minute through Onwu. The 32-year-old forward curled in a wonderful free kick from almost 30 yards out to bring his team on level footing in the contest. With the half time whistle approaching, Odisha were awarded a penalty after Raju Gaikwad’s challenge on Onwu inside the Kerala box. Martin Perez Guedes stepped up to convert the spot kick to give Odisha a 3-2 lead.
Odisha could have pulled even further ahead in the final seconds of added time as Onwu found himself through on goal. But Bilal came out just in time to deny the Spaniard a first half hat trick. The teams headed into the break with the home side holding a one-goal lead.
Six minutes after the restart, Onwu converted yet another free kick to complete his treble and make it 4-2 for Odisha.
Trailing by two goals, Kerala started throwing caution to the wind in an attempt to claw their way back into the contest and almost pulled a goal back in the 67th minute as Ogbeche fed Messi from out wide. The Cameroonian nudged it goalwards but Dorronsoro did just enough to thwart the danger.
Kerala’s adventurous approach left a lot of space in their defence and Odisha almost capitalized around the 75-minute mark. Narayan found Xisco Hernandez with a cut back and the Spaniard had the beating of Bilal. But unfortunately for the Spaniard, the ball came out after hitting the post. Four minutes later, Nandhakumar Sekar, too, hit the woodwork, letting Kerala off the hook.
The drama, however, was far from over. Ogbeche converted a penalty in the 82nd minute to make the scoreline 4-3, setting up a thrilling end to the contest.
Into added time, Dorronsoro’s dangerous charge on Ogbeche prompted the referee to point towards the spot yet again. Ogbeche tucked away the spot kick to score his 15th goal of the season, concluding a dramatic 4-4 tie.