ISL: Odisha FC outplay Blasters, post first win

Steven Taylor exults after putting Odisha FC ahead. Photo: ISL

Bambolim (Goa): Odisha FC rallied to down Kerala Blasters FC 4-2 and post their first win in ISL 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium here on Thursday.

Jordan Murray gave Blasters an early lead in the seventh minute. However, an own goal by Jeakson Singh in the 22nd handed Odisha the equaliser.

Captain Steven Taylor put Odisha ahead on the stroke of half-time. A brace by Diego Mauricio in the 50th and 60th wrapped up the win for Odisha.

Though Gary Hooper pulled one back it was too little too late.

Despite the win, Odisha stay at the bottom of the table with five points from nine games, while Blasters are in 10th spot with six points from nine matches in the 11-team league.

Blasters next meet Jamshedpur FC on Sunday.

Jordan Murray, second left, gave Blasters an early lead. Photo: ISL

It was Odisha who started better, enforcing a corner in the third minute but Blasters scored the opener much against the run of play. K P 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 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 instant goal as he headed in Pereyra's cross, but it was straight at Arshdeep. Blasters would rue the miss 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.


Diego Mauricio scored a brace for the winners. Photo: ISL

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.

Blasters would have a glimmer of hope in the 79th minute when Hooper netted their second. 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 Blasters 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 inputs from ISL Media)

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