MUMBAI: Odisha FC got their first victory in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 after registering a 4-2 triumph over Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. First half strikes from Xisco Hernandez, Aridane Santana and Jerry Mawhmingthanga put the visitors in the driving seat. A second half penalty by Mohamed Larbi gave Mumbai some hope, but Santana’s second goal of the night ensured the win for Odisha. Substitute Bipin Singh also scored a consolation goal for Mumbai late on.
The visitors started brightly and took the lead six minutes into the contest after some individual brilliance by Xisco. The Spaniard had space to run into on the right after a Santana header found him unmarked. Mumbai’s Pratik Chaudhari tried to chase and get to Xisco, but to no avail as the Spaniard faked a shot before pulling the trigger to make it 1-0 for Odisha.
Santana and Xisco combined again four minutes with the former getting his shot away on this occasion. His attempt though took a wicked deflection and rattled the woodwork as the home crowd breathed a sigh of relief.
Odisha doubled their lead in the 21st minute after continuing to push forward with positive intent. More wonderful build-up play led to Jerry finding himself with time and space on the right. The Indian youngster then picked out Santana with an inch-perfect pass and the Spanish target-man made no mistake with a first-time finish that left Mumbai’s goalkeeper Amrinder Singh rooted to the spot.
The Islanders had an opportunity to pull one back in the 32nd minute after Diego Carlos did well to create a good chance for Serge Kevyn inside the box. Kevyn’s effort on goal though was off target much to the disappointment of the home faithful.
The visitors, however, weren’t as wasteful in front of goal as the hosts and they scored their third of the night four minutes from half-time. Nandhakumar Sekar provided the spark this time with a strong run into the box and then a shot, which Amrinder could only parry to the woodwork. Unfortunately, for the Mumbai goalkeeper, the ball ricocheted straight to Jerry, who controlled and finished in a composed manner to make it 3-0 for Odisha FC at half-time.
Mumbai City began the second half with positive intent and received a lifeline five minutes into the second period after getting a penalty. Larbi stepped up to the spot and pulled one back for the Islanders to make it 3-1.
The goal seemed to give the hosts belief as they looked to make the most of their momentum. They managed to get into Odisha’s penalty box more frequently than they did in the first half and even had a couple of penalty appeals turned down.
Any chance of Mumbai getting anything from the game, though, ended in the 73rd minute as Odisha scored their fourth of the night. Good work by Jerry yet again led to him producing a well-measured cross for Santana to nod into the back of the net.
Substitute Romeo Fernandes then had the chance to make it 5-1 for Odisha after being put through on goal, however, the Indian winger failed to beat the goalkeeper. Larbi, meanwhile, missed a header up the other end soon after.
Mumbai scored their second of the game in the final minute of injury-time after Delhi’s goalkeeper failed to save substitute Bipin’s cross from the left. That said, Odisha eventually emerged as comfortable winners and secured their first points of the season.