Bhubaneswar: A brace from Aridane Santana gifted Odisha FC a narrow 2-1 victory over Jamshedpur FC in their first-ever match at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20. Though Aitor Monroy equalised from the spot for the visitors, they couldn’t cancel out Santana’s second of the night.
- Santana scored Odisha’s first goal in the 28th minute with a well-placed finish.
- Aitor Monroy took Jamshedpur’s penalty in the 38th minute and scored his first Hero ISL goal.
- Santana scored the eventual winner just at the stroke of half-time to give Odisha the edge.
Jamshedpur started on the front foot, making sure that Odisha were unable to build from the back. Returning goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro suffered an early scare but managed to weave through and clear the ball.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia had the first shot on target in the game, but his effort was directed straight at the Jamshedpur keeper, Subrata Paul. Odisha counter-attacked with Spanish midfielder Xisco Hernandez meeting a cross from Narayan Das in the 12th minute, but he failed to keep his header on target.
However, it was the home side who broke the deadlock in the 28th minute, with Aridane Santana picking up his fifth goal of the season. The Spanish striker collected the ball near the halfway line and played it to Nandhakumar Sekar. He beat the defenders before getting the ball taken off him but fortunately for Odisha, it fell to Santana, who shot the ball into the back of the net.
Ten minutes later, a defensive error from Narayan Das won Jamshedpur a penalty. Monroy took guard and calmly converted to secure his maiden Hero ISL goal. The home side, rather than sitting back, went all out in the dying minutes of the half and got rewarded when Santana scored a thunderous volley off Nandhakumar’s cross. That proved to be the last action of the first period as the hosts entered the break with a crucial 2-1 lead.
Two minutes into the second half, Santana almost scored his third of the night after Marcos Tebar laid the ball to the Spaniard, but his right-footed shot was weak and went straight at Paul. The Odisha defenders were more solid in the second half, keeping the Jamshedpur players at bay and holding onto their lead with caution.
Farukh Choudhary came closest to equalising for the away side when he met a beautiful cross from Narender Gahlot. The young striker, however, was unable to convert. Soon after, CK Vineeth entered the fray in search of the equaliser. He did put a vicious cross in from the left towards the onrushing attackers but Dorronsoro was alert enough to make a vital interception.
Keeping in touch with this season’s thrilling endings, the Jamshedpur attackers almost got the equaliser in injury-time, but Santana turned defender this time to ensure his side sealed the deal and registered their first win ever at the Kalinga Stadium.
The Spaniard’s return to form spells good news as his brace allowed Odisha to move to sixth on the Hero ISL table. The forward proved to be a key figure in the defence as well, making a goal-line clearance in injury time to bag all three points.