THE KALINGA WAR
Last night, ISL witnessed a fierce clash between Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters FC. In what seemed to be a must-win match for us in the league, the game ended in a 2-2 scoreline with both the teams sharing the spoils.
Our Head Coach Kibu Vicuña fielded our boys in 4-4-1-1 with Gary Hooper and Jordan Murray at the front. Our Zimbabwean defender Costa Nhamoinesu worn the captain’s armband to lead the team for the night.
The first half kicked-off with our boys trying to gain possession over the game. Our boys continuously pressed the opposition backline. But as opposed to what was seen on the pitch Odisha FC’s Brazilian Striker Diego Mauricio broke the deadlock at the 45th minute to score the opening goal for the hosts. The Brazilian took advantage of the counterattack and utilized a brilliant assist from Jerry to score.
The Second Half began with our Men in Yellow dominating the game. At the 52nd minute, our Englishman Gary Hooper took advantage of the advancing keeper and sent in a deft cross into the box. Our Aussie Sniper Jordan Murray was found at the end of the ball and slammed in a powerful shot giving no chance for the opposition keeper and snatching the equalizer for us.
Our boys again shook the net at the 68th minute with a beautiful one-touch placement goal from Gary Hooper. Our Spaniard Vicente Gomes sent in a long pass inside the box for Sahal, He assisted the ball from a close range to our Fox in the box who converted the ball beautifully into a goal.
But to our dismay, another tap-in goal from the Brazilian Diego Mauricio at the 74th minute became a game-changer for both teams. Men in Yellow had an account of around 29 shots against the Kalinga warriors, but the lack of clinical finishing at the final third denied us a much deserved three points of the game.
Our Australian Striker Jordan Murray shared his reaction after the match, “Today was extremely disappointing. We have an outside chance to make the playoffs, but it’s very small. Hopefully, we can get nine points from the remaining three games. I thought, in the first half, we controlled the majority of the game. We wanted to come back with the same intensity in the second half and put pressure on Odisha. We missed opportunities and they got the two goals necessary. We should have been more clinical up front. From here, it’s about playing for pride and getting as many points as possible. I just want to keep improving my game and also help others in my team to keep improving each day.”
KBFC (4-4-1-1): Albino Gomes (GK), Sandeep Singh, Yendrembem Denechandra, Jeakson Singh, Rahul KP, Sahal Abdul Samad, Vicente Gomez, Costa Nhamoinesu, Juande, Gary Hooper, Jordan Murray
OFC (4-4-2): Arshdeep Singh (GK), Mohd Sajid Dhot, Hendry Antonay, Cole Alexander, Brad Inman, Diego Mauricio, Vinit Rai, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Jacob Tratt, Steven Taylor, Rakesh Pradha