On a festive evening at the Kalinga Stadium, Odisha FC showcased a remarkable performance, securing their first remarkable victory in the AFC Cup 2023-24 at the Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday. The Kalinga Warriors displayed their prowess in a spectacular 6-1 win against Maldivian side Maziya Sports & Recreation Club.

The match began with a burst of energy from Odisha FC as they swiftly took an early lead. Just three minutes into the game, Jahouh delivered a corner kick to Fall, who expertly found the back of the net.

In the 12th minute, the visiting team managed to equalise the game from a corner kick when Hamza's delivery was met by Bane's header.

However, the Kalinga Warriors weren't to be outdone. In the 15th minute, Jahouh's powerful free-kick found Carlos in the perfect position to slot the ball into the net, putting his team back in the lead.

The 19th minute witnessed another goal from the Kalinga Warriors as Cy delivered a precise pass to Carlos on the right flank. Carlos headed the ball inside the penalty box, where Fall was waiting to secure his brace.

As the first half progressed, there were moments of brilliance, with Roy and Diego orchestrating a fantastic one-two play in the 39th minute and Amrinder making a crucial save from a curling shot by the Maziya winger in the 42nd minute.

The Kalinga Warriors continued their dominance in the second half and their prowess from set-pieces was evident again in the 58th minute as Amey Ranawade curled the ball into the corner of the net.

Diego displayed some exceptional dribbling skills before setting up Isak Ralte just in front of the goal in the 62nd minute. Isak made no hesitation, slotting the ball into the net and securing the fifth goal for Odisha FC.

In the 67th minute, Serjio Lobera made a double substitution, bringing in Narender and Soosai to replace the night's two goal-scorers, Isak Vanlalruatfela and Amey Ranawade.

In the death of the game, Sahil added the sixth goal for the Kalinga Warriors. Thoiba showcased impressive footwork, passing the ball to Jahouh, who delivered a crafty through ball to Sahil. Sahil dribbled past defenders and calmly finished the chance.

With this emphatic win, the Kalinga Warriors significantly reduced their goal difference and now seem comfortable in the group stage. Odisha FC's next challenge will be in the Maldives, where they will face Maziya on Tuesday, November 7th, 2023, aiming to maintain their exceptional spirit and form.

Mohun Bagan SG drop points at home 

Mohun Bagan Super Giant were held to a 2-2 draw by Bangladesh's Bashundhara Kings during their third Group D match, which took place at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

The goals for the home side were scored by Dimitri Petratos and Asish Rai, while the visitors, Bashundhara Kings, found their equalisers through Dori and Robinho respectively.

In the first half, Mohun Bagan displayed dominance with superior ball possession and more shots on target. An early breakthrough was almost provided by Liston Colaco in the 20th minute, but the goal was disallowed due to an offside call.

The hosts managed to open the scoring in the 29th minute. Hugo Boumous swiftly advanced from the right flank and located Jason Cummings inside the box. Cummings then set up Dimitri Petratos, who delivered a flawless right-footed finish to put Mohun Bagan SG ahead.

However, their lead didn’t last long as Bashundhara Kings swiftly responded, equalising just four minutes later. Brazilian forward Robinho found Dori, who beat Mohun Bagan's goalkeeper, Vishal Kaith to level the scores. 

Robinho came close to giving the visitors a 2-1 lead a couple of minutes later, but his shot struck the crossbar. Bashundhara Kings started the second half brightly, but the woodwork came to Mohun Bagan SG’s rescue again as Dori's strike in the 48th minute also met the crossbar.

Mohun Bagan SG eventually extended their lead in the 54th minute through Asish Rai. Glan Martins intercepted a pass in the middle of the field and played in Dimitri Petratos. Dimitri then passed the ball to Asish Rai, who surged down the right flank and produced a neat finish to beat the Bashundhara Kings' goalkeeper.

Bashundhara Kings, however, rallied back for the second time in the match. Rai's foul on Robinho inside the box granted the visiting side a crucial penalty in the 69th minute, which was successfully converted by Robinho himself.

Although both teams remained proactive and pursued a victory during the final stages of the match, neither managed to find a clinical finish that would tip the balance in their favour.

Despite the draw, Mohun Bagan SG maintain a strong position atop the Group D table with seven points earned from three matches. They commenced their campaign with a convincing 4-0 victory over Odisha FC and secured a 2-1 win against Maziya SRC in their second match. Meanwhile, Bashundhara Kings now occupy the second spot in Group D, surpassing Odisha FC, with four points to their name.

For their next AFC Cup game, Mohun Bagan SG will travel to Bangladesh for an away game against Bashundhara Kings in Dhaka on November 7.