Odisha registers comeback win over Kerala

Harmanjot Khabra scored for Kerala in the 35th minute, before Odisha’s Jerry Mawihmingthanga equalised in the 54th.
Odisha FC players celebrate after scoring the winning goal.
Odisha FC players celebrate after scoring the winning goal.

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha FC registered a 2-1 comeback win over Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League 2022-23 at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.

Harmanjot Khabra scored for Kerala in the 35th minute, before Odisha’s Jerry Mawihmingthanga equalised in the 54th.

Super substitute Pedro Martin won it for the ‘Juggernauts’ in the 86th minute, its second victory in three matches.

The ball was in the Kerala net after just seven minutes, but the goal was disallowed. Diego Mauricio cut in from the left flank before getting his shot away from an extremely acute angle. The effort was parried by KBFC goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill, with the loose ball reaching Isaac Vanmalsawma.

The midfielder’s goal-bound shot was blocked by Gill, before Jerry tried to tap it in from close range. The goal was chalked off because Gill had a glove on the ball when Jerry toe-poked it into the net.

Halfway through the first period, Blasters scurried to clear an Odisha corner. The ball found its way to Thoiba Singh, whose shot from the edge of the box forced a brilliant save out of Prabhsukhan.

The visitor got its noses in front ten minutes before half-time. Adrian Luna played a short corner to Lalthathanga Khawlhring before whipping a brilliant in-swinging ball from the left flank. Khabra sprung the offside trap and broke the deadlock with a thumping header.

The home team almost equalised three minutes later from a corner as Isaac curled the ball in towards the far post. Saul Crespo, under pressure from Khabra, saw his header fly narrowly wide of goal. Two minutes into the second half, Jerry’s cross from the right wing was poked at goal by Mauricio. However, Gill was positioned well and pushed the effort onto the post before it was cleared to safety.

The match was all square in the 54th minute when Shubham Sarangi’s long throw from the right was flicked on by Osama Malik in a chaotic penalty area. Carlos Delgado’s shot was parried into the path of Jerry and the 25-year-old made no mistake, tapping it in from close range.

The game turned on its head in the 86th minute. OFC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh lofted the ball towards the final third, where Martin took it down with a deft touch before smashing it past Gill with aplomb.

RESULT: Odisha FC 2 (Jerry 54, P Martin 86) bt Kerala Blasters FC 1 (H Khabra 35).

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