Odisha crush Jamshedpur, NorthEast hold FC Goa

Odisha FC's Diego Mauricio and Roy Krishna celebrate a goal against Jamshedpur FC. Photo: ISL

Bhubaneswar: Odisha FC crushed Jamshedpur FC 4-1 in the Indian Super League at the Kalinga Stadium here on Friday.

Their supremely talented and experienced frontline clicked cohesively to put four goals past the Jamshedpur FC defence in the opening 45 minutes to seal the deal straightaway, and take their unbeaten streak to 11 games in all competitions.

In a second match on the day, NorthEast United held FC Goa to a 1-1 draw. Madathil Subran equalised in the 26th minute after Goa led through Carlos Martinez's 20th minute opener.

Jamshedpur FC, upbeat after their 5-0 thrashing of Hyderabad FC, began the game strongly with a Rei Tachikawa stunner from outside of the box to bag the opener in the 23rd minute.

However, the trio of Roy Krishna, Isak Vanlalruatfela, and Diego Mauricio wreaked havoc in the remaining 20-odd minutes, coming together seamlessly, and running circles around the Jamshedpur FC defence to find multiple breakthroughs and produce a thorough entertainer for their home crowd.

Krishna, in particular, was the star of the show, playing a part in three of the four goals barring the one that Mauricio converted through a spot-kick. He first set up one for Isak in the 27th minute, which the youngster tapped in conveniently to bag the equaliser. Nine minutes later, the Fijian jumped upon a rebound of a shot by Mauricio to get his team a slight lead from the right-hand side of the box.

Mauricio got his due in the added time of the first-half, earning a spot-kick due to a foul by TP Rehenesh and hammering it into the net to get Odisha FC’s third goal of the night. The dynamism that these two strikers have demonstrated playing in tandem lately has been one of the core reasons behind the success of the Juggernauts. Krishna was in no mood to pipe down as the end of the opening essay of the game approached though. Isak carved open the backline, which appeared to be disarranged, and the striker pulled off another neat finish to bring up the fifth goal of the night.

Odisha FC have rounded off the opening half of the ISL 2023-24 campaign with seven victories and three draws in 12 games. Their dominance has been a result of a free-flowing attacking unit, supported by a solid defensive setup that has conceded only 12 goals so far. On the other hand, the Red Miners have a lot of thinking to do from here on. It appeared that they had turned a new leaf with an authoritative win over Hyderabad FC, but things have unravelled pretty clearly for the squad over the course of the last four months. They need to make some corrections to ensure that the second half of the campaign unfolds in a better way for them.

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