Aridane Santana’s penalty helps Hyderabad FC beat Odisha FC for first time
Hyderabad FC began their 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) campaign with a 1-0 win over Odisha FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday. Former Odisha frontman Aridane Santana scored the only goal of the match from the penalty spot in the first half as Hyderabad also kept their first-ever clean sheet in league history besides beating Odisha for the first time.
- Aridane Santana gave Hyderabad the lead from the penalty spot in the 35th minute.
- Hyderabad were dominant in the second half as well but couldn’t add to their lead.
The first chance of the match fell to Hyderabad in the fifth minute when Santana put a free header from a corner wide of the target. Another smartly worked corner by Hyderabad two minutes later ended up testing Odisha’s goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh.
Instead of putting the ball into the box, the corner was spread wide to the edge of the penalty area where Akash Mishra was waiting patiently and unleashed a venomous shot from distance that forced Arshdeep into a save.
Hyderabad were the more enterprising side going forward and seemed assured in their passing. They created another opportunity in the 26th minute when a cross from the right was directed to Santana in the box. Once again, the Spaniard headed wide, this time under pressure from Odisha skipper Steven Taylor.
However, Odisha’s defence finally buckled under Hyderabad’s constant pressure after Manuel Onwu gave the ball away in midfield and that led to a quick break. Halicharan Narzary thought he was going to score from the break with a stinging effort across goal, but his shot struck Taylor’s outstretched hand after the Englishman had gone to ground attempting a block inside the box. Santana obligingly stepped up to the spot and hit the penalty straight down the middle to give his side the lead.
Odisha mustered an effort on target four minutes before the break when Onwu had a free header inside the box but could only produce a tame attempt that was easily saved. That said, Arshdeep was undoubtedly the busier of the two goalkeepers and had to make a couple of good saves from Santana and Narzary before halftime to ensure Odisha were just trailing by one goal at the break.
The start of the second half saw Odisha begin with more intent and purpose. Onwu directed a weak shot on goal two minutes before the hour mark but creating clear-cut chances to score were proving to be a challenge for them.
Hyderabad went up the other end and had the ball in the net in 63rd minute courtesy of a Joao Victor header from a set-piece. The goal, though, was ruled out for offside. Substitute Liston Colaco was introduced from the bench for Hyderabad and almost had an immediate impact after his surging run from near the halfway line culminated with him dragging the shot agonizingly wide of the target.
Santana was back at it again in 78th minute when he had another free header to pounce on from a corner. Unfortunately for Hyderabad, he couldn’t direct it on target in keeping with the theme of the night as far as the Spaniard and the headers were concerned.
Hyderabad’s final opportunity to extend their lead came two minutes before fulltime but they couldn’t direct a cross from the right on target. Odisha had five minutes of injury time to find an equaliser but couldn’t create any proper openings as Hyderabad went on to register a deserved victory.
Hero of the Match – Aridane Santana
Aridane Santana was a busy man against Odisha with most of Hyderabad’s chances falling to him. He scored the winner from the penalty spot and could have netted more had he managed to keep some of his efforts on target. However, he was instrumental to his team’s win and his overall play, including holding up the ball, helping out defenders and retaining possession, played a big part in the win.
Club Award – Hyderabad FC
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Halicharan Narzary (Hyderabad FC)
Watch the Match Highlights here: