Odisha FC registered a convincing 3-0 victory against Aizawl FC in their second match of the Hero Super Cup here at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri, on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
As the victory fetched three points to Odisha, they now have four points from two matches and are leading Group B. Aizawl FC are yet to log a point.
It was a tale of two halves between Aizawl and Odisha, as they were evenly matched in the first 45 minutes. Both sides shared more or less an equal amount of ball possession as well as goal-scoring chances.
The first chance fell to Odisha centre-back Narender Gahlot, who rose to head to goal from a corner kick in the 16th minute. However, he couldn’t keep his effort low and the ball flew onto the top of the net.
Over the next 15 minutes, Aizawl took control of the game and twice came close to scoring the opener. On both occasions, Hruaitea was the player with the chances, his volleyed effort from a corner in the 20th minute flying just wide of the post.
In the 28th minute, Hruaitea had a golden opportunity to put his side in the lead but couldn’t get a touch on the ball at the mouth of the goal.
Chances flew at both ends, though, and just before the break, Odisha winger Isak Vanlalruatfela found himself in space with only Vanlalhriatpuia to beat. But the goalkeeper did well to parry his shot away and ensure they went into the break level.
The very first chance in the second half once again fell Isak’s way. The 21-year-old dribbled in from the left flank and went for an outrageous attempt from outside the box, the ball seemingly headed for the top corner. However, once again, it was Vanlalhriatpuia who came to Aizawl’s rescue to pull off a last-gasp save.
The resultant corner in the 47th minute brought the opener. A melee inside the box caused by the corner saw Diego Mauricio present at the right place to poke the ball home from close range and give Odisha the lead.
Odisha followed it up with another goal in the 55th minute. This time it was Victor Rodriguez who displayed great footwork inside the box to beat a defender and slot it home to double his side’s lead. Clifford Miranda’s men took complete charge of the game after that and kept hold of the majority of the ball possession.
In the second minute of stoppage time, substitute Nandha Kumar made it 3-0 to seal the win. Diego Mauricio’s fierce strike was stopped by Vanlalhriatpuia brilliantly, but the rebound fell to Nandha, who tapped it in.
Mauricio had another chance to get on the scoresheet when he was brought down inside the box by K. Lalmalsawma in the fourth minute of stoppage time. But the Brazilian’s penalty was saved by Aizawl’s inspirational goalkeeper.