Hyderabad: Odisha FC made it four wins on the bounce and strengthened their position in the top four of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 standings after a 2-1 win over Hyderabad FC at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Wednesday. Marcelo Pereira gave Hyderabad the lead, but Aridane Santana restored parity for Odisha. The hosts then had Dimple Bhagat sent off for a second yellow and conceded a second goal following a successful penalty by Santana just before half time.
Hyderabad failed to convert a penalty and were then reduced to 10 men after Dimple Bhagat was sent off
Santana scored his second of the night from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 for Odisha just before the half time whistle
Hyderabad made a quick start to the match and took the lead within 40 seconds. Nikhil Poojary got his shot away from inside the box after a good cross from the right by Nestor Benitez, but Odisha’s goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro managed to make the save. However, Pereira was at hand to follow up and rifled the rebound into the goal to give the hosts an early lead. It was also the fastest goal of the season so far.
Odisha looked to respond immediately and Xisco Hernandez tried his luck from distance, but his effort didn’t test the goalkeeper.
The visitors went on to draw level in the 15th minute and the goal came after a long throw into the box by Odisha led to confusion in Hyderabad’s defence. Santana reacted quickest to the lapse at the back and slotted the loose ball into the back of the net from the edge of the six-yard box.
Santana could have put Odisha in front two minutes later but this time the Spaniard couldn’t quite keep his first-time shot from a corner on target. Hyderabad’s targetman Bobo looked to put his team ahead as well but his attempt from range in the 26th minute was also wide of goal.
The Brazilian had another opportunity to help his side regain the lead in the 33rd minute after Hyderabad were awarded a penalty after a handball inside the Odisha box. Bobo’s spot kick, though, was well-saved by Dorronsoro, much to the disappointment of the home faithful.
The away side thought they had taken the lead two minutes later after Santana headed a cross from the left into the net, but the linesman raised his flag for offside. Benitez, meanwhile, almost helped Hyderabad regain their lead just before half time and only the crossbar denied him from making that happen.
That said, Odisha made the most of the rub of the green going their way moments later when Bhagat was adjudged to have committed a foul in the box. The debutant, who received a second yellow as a result of the foul, was sent off and Santana stepped up to the spot to convert and make it 2-1 for Odisha at the break.
The visitors began the second half looking to add to their lead and they had three big chances to do that in the 49th minute. Jerry Mawihmingthanga first tested Kamaljit Singh with a fierce shot before Santana forced Hyderabad’s defence into a goalline clearance. The danger was eventually averted when Vinit Rai’s effort, from outside the box seconds after the goalline clearance, rattled the woodwork and was cleared.
Odisha, in fact, continued to search for a third goal for the remainder of the half, while Hyderabad looked to maintain their discipline and defend for most of the second period. Hyderabad did have a chance to score an equaliser four minutes from normal time when a cross from the right found Bobo unmarked in the box.
Unfortunately for Hyderabad and the home supporters, Bobo failed to keep his header on target.
The home side to their credit, ended the game strongly and substitute Giles Barnes came close to an equaliser as well. The substitute managed to get a header on target in the 90th minute but Dorronsoro made the save. Bobo also headed over the target from close range in the dying minutes as the hosts eventually succumbed to their 10th loss of the campaign. The loss also rules Hyderabad out of the top four race.
Aridane Santana once again proved to be the difference between the teams as Odisha triumphed over Hyderabad. The Spanish forward scored two goals on the night, taking his tally for the season to nine goals – more than any other player in the league. He also created two chances for his teammates and contributed defensively during set-pieces.