Odisha are fifth in the points tally (© ISL)

ISL 2019-20: Odisha FC Comeback to Beat NEUFC 2-1, Keep Play-off Hopes Alive

Odisha FC are now fifth in the points tally with their seventh win of the ongoing season.

Odisha FC have kept themselves in contention for a playoff berth after registering a come-from-behind win over NorthEast United FC in Bhubaneshwar on Friday. Having conceded a goal in the 24th minute, Odisha turned the game around in the second half for a 2-1 win at the Kalinga Stadium.

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NEUFC took 1-0 lead in the first half through Martin Chaves and maintained it till the break. In the second half,  Odisha drew level through Manuel Onwu in the 46th and then Martin Perez Guedes struck the winner in the 72nd  minute.

Odisha though made an aggressive start with Guedes seeing a shot go wide early in the game.  But they allowed NorthEast to tighten their grip.

However, Odisha created a superb chance when they broke forward from a NorthEast corner in the 18th minute. Onwu charged forward before finding Xisco Hernandez who opted to go for goal from distance which forced a save from Subhasish Roy Chowdhury.

Against the run of play, it was NEUFC who took the lead in the 24th minute.

A quick freekick from Federico Gallego sent Chaves through on goal and the Uruguayan held off Shubham Sarangi and slid a finish past goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh.

Odisha stepped their game up after that and should have equalised before half-time. Sarangi wasted an opportunity at the far post after the NorthEast defence failed to clear a cross in the 28th minute, while Subhasish was forced to make two good saves from Marcos Tebar and Guedes in quick succession.

Guedes had another shot that was saved while Sarangi managed to get into the box after side-stepping a couple of defenders, only to send a feeble effort straight into the goalkeeper’s hands.

A deserving equaliser came right after the restart. Xisco spread a ball to Nandhakumar Sekar on the wings and his cross was turned in smartly by Onwu.

Odisha kept on piling the pressure in search of a winner and got their goal in the 72nd minute.

Xisco’s corner was headed on towards the far post by Onwu and Guedes was able to squeeze it in to hand Odisha the lead.

Despite the best efforts of Keogh and Ninthoinganba Meetei, the latter’s sparkling run in the 83rd minute almost forcing a goal, Odisha managed to hold on and notch all three points and keep themselves in the hunt.

Odisha are now fifth in the points tally with their seventh win of the ongoing season.


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