ISL 2021-22: Odisha FC 2 – 3 Hyderabad FC

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Hyderabad FC defeated Odisha FC 3-2 in match number 73 of the Indian Super League season 2021-22 at the Tilak Maidan in Goa on Thursday.

A win was crucial for both sides ahead of the game. The Nizams needed the win to secure their spot at the top of the table while Odisha FC needed the win to break into the top four.

The game started as a cagey affair, with both teams taking a measured approach. Both teams committed a few fouls in the middle of the park, which showed their intentions of not giving space to their opponents.

The Nizams created a few chances, but Odisha’s defending kept them at bay. Jerry Mawihmingthanga gave Odisha FC the lead in the 45th minute against the run of play.

The scoreboard at halftime read 1-0 in favor of the Kalinga Warriors.

Hyderabad came into the second half with renewed vigor as they kept creating chance after chance. In the end, Joel Chianese gave them the equalizer in the 51st minute from an Akash Mishra cross. Captain Joao Victor gave the Nizams the lead in the 70th minute courtesy of a world-class striker.

Akash Mishra doubled their lead in the 73rd minute with a header from an Md Yasir free-kick. Jonathas de Jesus scored a beauty in the 84th minute from the edge of the box to reduce the lead to 3-2.

With the victory, Hyderabad FC retained their position at the top of the table with a three-point lead over the second-placed Kerala Blasters.

On that note, let us look at four things we learned from today’s game.

#4 Odisha FC’s midfield lacks creativity

Odisha FC's midfield was occupied in defence mainly (Image courtesy: ISL social media)
Odisha FC’s midfield was occupied in defence mainly (Image courtesy: ISL social media)

Odisha FC had 49% of the ball, which is something sides don’t have against Hyderabad FC. The Nizams generally control the ball more compared to what they had today.

The Odisha FC midfield did a good job in winning some second balls and maintaining their shape. However, they failed to create enough chances for their attackers.

The midfield, which lacked experience, faltered under the constant pressure of Hyderabad FC attacks.

Odisha FC need to get their midfield in a better form if they want to secure a spot in the top four.

#3 Referee decision remain dubious

Joao Victor's backheel which hit Gaurav Bora's hand should have been awarded as a penalty (Image courtesy: ISL social media)
Joao Victor’s backheel which hit Gaurav Bora’s hand should have been awarded as a penalty (Image courtesy: ISL social media)

It was the 62nd minute Joao Victor put the ball into the box with a backheel flick. Unfortunately, the ball hit Gaurav Bora’s hand. The referee failed to notice the incident, and the handball evaded the linesman’s eyesight too.

It was an apparent penalty incident, and Hyderabad FC would have complained vehemently had they not been able to win the game today.

The quality of referees should improve in the league if we are to have holistic development in football.

#2 Bartholomew Ogbeche fails to score

Ogbeche failed to score today (Image courtesy: ISL social media)
Ogbeche failed to score today (Image courtesy: ISL social media)

Bartholomew Ogbeche is the third-highest goalscorer in the league’s history with 47 goals. He is also the top goal scorer for three teams: Northeast United FC, Kerala Blasters, and Hyderabad FC.

He is the league’s top goalscorer this season with 12 goals.

However, Ogbeche failed to get his name on the scoresheet today, and there were a few issues in the coordination between the attackers up front.

The mishap between Aniket Jadhav and Ogbeche ruined a brilliant chance for Hyderabad FC. Unfortunately, it also ruined Ogbeche’s chance of equalling Sunil Chhetri and Ferran Corominas’ record of 48 goals in the ISL.

#1 Hyderabad FC make their intentions clear

Manolo Marquez had a good game today (Image courtesy: ISL social media)
Manolo Marquez had a good game today (Image courtesy: ISL social media)

Hyderabad FC missed out on a playoff spot narrowly last season. However, they have been playing beautiful football right from the start of the season this season. The style and quality of football Hyderabad FC have been playing has been praised by everyone.

They are also the side to give the most number of minutes to under-23 players, which is a big thing in the Indian Super League.

Coach Manolo Marquez has been vocal about the team’s slump after a few good performances. However, the game today was proof of the mentality the team possessed.

Hyderabad FC won their last game against SC East Bengal comfortably, and as per their trend, they could have seen a slump today. But the Nizams managed to control the game and win it in the second half.

With the win today, Hyderabad FC increased their lead by three points at the top of the table.

Manolo Marquez will hope his side can keep their momentum and finish the league as the league toppers.


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