Bhubaneswar: Odisha FC beat Mumbai City FC 2-0 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday and took over the fourth spot in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 table from their opponents on the night. Odisha now have 18 points from 12 matches while Mumbai, who dropped down to fifth, stay on 16 points from the same number of fixtures.
Aridane Santana scored the first goal of the match in the 48th minute to give Odisha the lead.
Xisco Hernandez doubled the home team’s advantage in the 74th minute.
From the kick off, the match established a familiar pattern associated with the two teams. Odisha looked to keep the ball and use their wingers – Jerry Mawihmingthanga and Nandhakumar Sekar – to stretch the Mumbai backline. The Islanders, in stark contrast, sat deep and constantly looked for counter attacking opportunities. As the match progressed, it was the home team which looked the more dangerous of the two teams and the likelier to score.
Despite enjoying the lion’s share of the possession and winning a flurry of corners, the hosts did little to seriously test Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh in the first half.
The best chance of the first 40 minutes, in fact, fell Mumbai’s way after a long cross fell kindly for Subhasish Bose, but Odisha custodian Francisco Dorronsoro did just enough to smother the attempt. The home side created their best chance of the first period just before half time as Nandhakumar dropped a shoulder, opened up space for himself inside the Mumbai box and took a shot on. But the effort was straight at Amrinder. The first half finally ended with nothing separating the two teams.
Within three minutes of the restart, Santana fired Odisha into the lead after some terrific work by Xisco down the right flank. The Spanish playmaker galloped down the flank, got to the byline and fed his countryman with an inch-perfect cutback to slot in.
The home team showed a lot more urgency in the second half, even after the opening goal, and had the Mumbai defence on the back foot with relentless forays inside the Islanders’ box. Odisha could have doubled their lead in the 56th minute after Jerry was played through on goal by Santana. The nippy winger tried to beat Amrinder by shooting across goal, but the Mumbai goalkeeper pulled off a good save to deny the Odisha youngster.
The second goal did come in the 74th minute. This time, it was Santana who turned provider for Xisco, who gracefully volleyed the ball past Amrinder from inside the net. It was only a matter of game management for Odisha from there on, and Josep Gombau’s men defended diligently to deny the Islanders any big opportunities to get back into the contest. The match concluded with the scoreline reading 2-0 in Odisha’s favour. This was also Mumbai’s first defeat of the season on the road.
The Spaniard had yet another terrific outing, scoring the all-important first goal of the match and also helped wrap up the game by setting up the second goal for his teammate Xisco Hernandez. Santana also created two chances for his team and bagged the Hero of the Match.