Upbeat Odisha FC keen to put it across wounded SC East Bengal

Goa:  Buoyed by their opening game win against star-studded Bengaluru FC, an upbeat Odisha FC would aim to put it across a wounded SC East Bengal when they take on the Kolkata giants in the Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium here later on Tuesday.

Spaniard Javi Hernandez was the star of the show as Odisha FC drilled three goals past Bengaluru FC custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, thus giving an insight into his impact value for the team, which finished at the bottom of the table last season.

On the other hand, SC East Bengal have had two futile outings this season, drawing with Jamshedpur FC and losing the ‘Kolkata derby’ to last year’s runners-up ATK Mohun Bagan.

Odisha FC showed resilience in defence, while at the same time their attackers were clinical in front of goal in the match against Bengaluru FC. Ahead of their second ISL game, they have no injury concerns as coach Kiko Ramirez revealed that everyone is fit. He added that Kamaljit Singh had a collision in the last match so the staff would decide later if he can feature in the game.

For them, midfielder Hernandez, who was signed ahead of the new season, was instrumental in breaking the deadlock inside the first five minutes of the game, scoring a fine goal by chipping the keeper. He then struck the second goal with a free-kick, lobbing the ball into the top corner.

Their 29-year-old defender Victor Mongil, along with partner Hector Rodas, had a solid performance against Bengaluru FC, with the former creating two clearances. His composure helped the team survive BFC attacks.

For SC East Bengal, in spite of putting up a resolute show against Jamshedpur FC in the first game, they could manage a 1-1 draw. They got squarely beaten by ATK Mohun Bagan 3-0. Their coach Jose Manuel Diaz has said that Suvam Sen will start in place of Arindam Bhattacharya, who suffered an injury in the previous game.

For them, Croatian winger Antonio Perosevic is the brightest hope, as he created three chances in the opening game, out of which one turned into a goal. In the following game, against ATKMB, the 29-year-old made a few amazing forays but was rather kept quiet.

The two have faced each other twice, winning one each. East Bengal have an unenviable record at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, losing 13 matches and winning one, while Odisha FC have played four, winning just one.


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