Odisha FC put in a clinical performance to beat Hyderabad FC by 3-0 at the Kalinga Stadium here in the Indian Super League (ISL) match on Sunday night.
Fijian striker Roy Krishna bagged a brace with goals in either halves, which included a strike by Senegalese defender Mourtada Fall in the middle to ensure the Juggernauts extended their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions.
Krishna was a threat for the Hyderabad FC defence right from the beginning, taking shots from either foot though the opposition’s backline held their own to thwart those efforts early on. Sergio Lobera has gotten a host of his former stars along with him in Odisha FC, and the rewards of that reflect in the immediacy with which they have settled into the side.
Fullback Amey Ranawade is one of them, having been an integral part of Lobera’s title-winning unit in Mumbai City FC in 2020-21. Tonight, he chipped in with a cross for Krishna that the striker converted in the 35th minute.
It was Ranawade’s second assist of the season, and the former Bengaluru FC striker ensured that he was efficient from close range to get the home side the opening goal of the night.
Odisha FC have been lethal from set-pieces lately too, with the presence of Fall helping them explore impressive opportunities inside the box. Five minutes after Krishna’s strike, Carlos Delgado laid up a pass through his head for his defending counterpart, and Fall was on mark by slotting the ball inside the back of the net to get his 21st goal of his ISL career.
The Juggernauts did not cede control over the encounter thereafter, ensuring that they held the upper hand in the proceedings from the centre. Krishna was equally involved in setting up opportunities for his teammates, one of which was squandered by Jerry Mawihmingthanga from the left side of the box in the 65th minute.
Jonathan Moya and Joe Knowles came close to reducing the deficit in the second half too, but the duo of Delgado and Fall were well-positioned to not let those chances emerge into definite chances for the visitors.
Finally, Krishna capped off the game late into the second half, in the fifth minute of the added time, by bringing his left foot into the equation and shooting the ball past Gurmeet Singh from a fairly tight angle to bring curtains down to an incredibly professional and even flawless game for Lobera & Co.
Odisha FC will next face East Bengal FC on December 22, whereas Hyderabad FC will play Jamshedpur FC on December 21.