With three important points for ATK Mohun Bagan on the line in their quest to qualify for the semi-finals, a determined Odisha FC managed to hold them to a 1-1 draw in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa on Thursday.

The dramatic encounter ebbed and flowed with a thrilling start when Redeem Tlang’s (5’) first goal for Odisha FC put them in front while Joni Kauko (8’) brought the Mariners back in the game with a penalty strike. Roy Krishna, in the dying minutes of the match, was shown a second yellow card.

The clash kicked off with fireworks as Odisha FC found an early lead, thanks to Jerry Mawihmingthanga’s cross from the right flank that set up Redeem Tlang’s goal in the 5th minute.

However, the celebrations would not last long. In under a minute, ATK Mohun Bagan won a penalty after Sahil Panwar clipped Hugo Boumous inside the box in an attempt to win the aerial duel. Joni Kauko fired the penalty to restore parity with a blow on the right corner.

After a frantic first fifteen minutes, the match changed pace and slowed down. Then, Odisha FC were awarded a penalty in the 22nd minute after Tiri fouled Aridai Suarez inside the box. Javier Hernandez got behind the dead ball, however, Amrinder Singh made a match-defining save as he leapt in the right direction, gobbling the ball.

In the 41st minute, Suarez found himself with an opportunity to break the deadlock, going up against the goalkeeper one-on-one. Suarez tried to skip past Amrinder, passed to Redeem at the edge of the box who ended up shooting off-target.

In contrast to the high-octane first half, the second half proved to be rather subdued.

The Mariners attempted to create openings, Kauko, in the 61st minute, threaded the ball from the right flank to Manvir Singh but an alert Odisha FC dealt with it comfortably.

The final quarter saw a tussle between ATK Mohun Bagan’s offence and Odisha FC’s defence in a test of composure.

Odisha FC’s goalkeeper, Kamaljit Singh, remained busy but stood firm in front of the goal. In the 79th minute, Deepak Tangri smashed a volley against which Kamiljit defended well with the help of Hector Ramirez’s clearance.

The calmness in defence of Odisha FC yielded them with a counter-attacking opportunity in the 89th minute. Liridon Krasniqi was at the end of a golden chance but his strike struck the woodwork.

Then, in the stoppage time, ATK Mohun Bagan were reduced to ten players when Krishna was shown a second yellow card coming off as a substitute in the second half.

After an eventful beginning, the match ended with the results squared up on 1-1.

The Mariners will face Bengaluru FC in their next encounter on February 27, meanwhile, Odisha FC will play their last fixture of the season against Jamshedpur FC on March 4.