Mauricio stars with brace in Odisha’s victory
BHUBANESWAR: Diego Mauricio continued his fine form with a brace as Odisha FC returned to winning ways in the Indian Super League 2022-23 with a 3-1 victory over East Bengal FC at the Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday.
Odisha fell behind early in the first half, but later gave its home support much to cheer about by comfortably outscoring East Bengal. Cleiton Silva, who is now the leading scorer of the ISL season with eight goals, put East Bengal in front in the 10th minute after capitalising on Odisha goalkeeper Amrinder Singh’s mistake.
Alex Lima played a lofted pass over the defence on the right side, and Amrinder rushed out indecisively to find himself stranded. Silva showed no hesitation in chipping the ball from a tight angle and put the visitor ahead.
In the 22nd minute, the host levelled the score after Raynier Fernandes whipped a cross into the six-yard box and found Mauricio, who stuck his right foot out to score. Odisha then found the back of the net either side of the half-time break to lead 3-1.
The first of those was a fortuitous goal for Nandhakumar Sekar, who was looking to cross the ball in from the left and ended up slicing it with his left foot. The ball kept going in its original path and eventually cleared East Bengal goalkeeper Suvam Sen.
Not long after the second half began, Mauricio picked up his second goal. Raynier was the provider for him once again, pushing forward from the right side of central midfield before slipping the ball into the channel for the Brazilian on the right side of the box. The striker picked up the ball, kept his composure, and managed to dink the ball into the near post.
East Bengal produced a host of chances from there on, trying to throw players forward in numbers, and came close on a few occasions but never with any conviction. Odisha is now fifth on the table with 22 points from 13 matches while East Bengal remains ninth with 12 points off as many games.
RESULT: Odisha FC 3 (D Mauricio 22 & 53, Nandhakumar 45) bt East Bengal FC 1 (C Silva 10)