Odisha FC leaves it very late to see off Chennaiyin in a high-scoring thriller: Just when we thought that this edition of Hero ISL had everything, Odisha FC & Chennaiyin FC came up with something even more special as the Juggernauts secured a late winner to overcome spirited Chennaiyin at the Kalinga Stadium. The 96th-minute goal by Nandhakumar was the difference between both sides after the 94th equalizer by Al Khayati and Josep Gombau’s men pick up another thrilling victory.
Odisha VS Chennaiyin
The visitors fielded the same side from the last game, while the host made two changes. Pedro Martin started for the first time replacing Diego Mauricio, while Jerry replaced Issac. Like the other high-scoring games, this game did not have the best of starts. Both teams were making adjustments to opponents’ tactics. After a consistent spell of pressure, the host managed to get the lead through an unfortunate own committed by Vafa. Sahil Panwar whipped in a cross from the left flank before Raynier headed the ball down to Jerry. While attempting an interception, Vafa redirected the ball into the back of his net. So, the Juggernauts had a slim advantage at the break.
2nd Half Drama
The Marina Machans head coach Brdaric made two changes at half-time. El Khayati and Rahim Ali replaced Julius Duker and Sajal Bag. Meanwhile, Josep Gombau had to make a forced change by withdrawing Pedro due to injury, while Mauricio replaced the Spaniard. However, the substitute paid dividends after Prasanth took down Sahil Panwar inside the box. The no.9 Diego Mauricio successfully converted from the spot as Odisha went two goals up.
However, the substitute El Khayati reduced the margin after a curling ball was put into the box from the right flank before Petar Sliskovic flicked it on with his head and El Khayati slotted past Amrinder with a composed finish. In the additional minutes, Chennaiyin earned a controversial penalty through Vafa. Perhaps to make the tie even more interesting, the floodlights at Kalinga went off just before EL Khayati went to take the spot-kick. Eventually, the lights came back sp did Chennaiyin through his perfect finish.
Just a minute later, Odisha FC responded dramatically through Nandha, who pounced on a stray ball that came after Jerry’s run was thwarted in the final third by Akash. The Juggernauts go level on points with Mumbai having 15 points in 7 matches and within one point of league leaders, Hyderabad FC who face ATKMB in a crucial fixture.