Odisha FC make short work of Inter Kashi to pocket full points

January 18, 2024 6:06 am

[Source: I League]

Defending champions Odisha FC dominated a 10-man Inter Kashi and notched up an easy 3-0 win in a Group D match of the Kalinga Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium Main Pitch in Bhubaneswar.

For Odisha FC, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Diego Mauricio and Isak Vanlalruatfela were the scorers. Inter Kashi defender Anil Chawan was sent off in the 75th minute, leaving his team to play with 10 men for the rest of the period.

The win helped Odisha reach the top of their group with six points from two matches. They have the same points as FC Goa but are ahead on goal difference. In an early match on Wednesday, FC Goa defeated Bengaluru FC. With only one team advancing from the group for the semi-finals, it will be a winner-take-it-all battle when Odisha FC face FC Goa in their last group match on Monday, January 22. While FC Goa are required to win, a draw could suffice for Odisha FC.

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Both Bengaluru FC and Inter Kashi have been eliminated.

Irrespective of the scoreline, the first half of the match saw Inter Kashi put up a tough fight. The I-League side toiled hard and tried to win the exchanges. However, Odisha FC slowly settled into the game and maintained possession by playing smart football and using the width of the pitch. The experience of forwards like Roy Krishna and Diego Mauricio also helped Odisha play with a nice rhythm.

Odisha created the first chance of the match in the 20th minute when Mourtada Fall tried to head home from close range. The ball bounced before Arindam Bhattacharya, but the Inter Kashi goalkeeper was alert to avert the danger.

Odisha finally took the lead at the stroke of halftime. Jerry Lalrinzuala floated in a cross from the left and Bhattacharya did well to come off his line and fist the ball away. However, Khawlhring unleashed a powerful strike off the rebound to score the side’s first goal.

Odisha continued their momentum in the second half and extended their lead in the 58th minute. Inter Kashi defenders were caught in possession and their lackadaisical attitude helped Mauricio gain control of the ball. The forward didn’t waste the opportunity, as he shot home Odisha’s second goal.

Inter Kashi tried their best to come back into the match, but their desire was extinguished when referee Aditya Purkayastha gave defender Anil Chawan marching orders in the 75th minute.

Odisha piled on further misery for Inter Kashi when they scored their third in the 79th minute. Isak Vanlalruatfela played a quick one-two with Roy Krishna before charging past his markers to score with a powerful shot and bring joy to the Odisha dugout.