Hero Super Cup: Odisha FC egde past Hyderabad FC to reach semi-finals
Odisha FC came from behind to book their tickets for the semi-finals of the Hero Super Cup with a 2-1 victory against Hyderabad FC in their final fixture of Group B at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri, Kerala on Monday.
Javier Siverio (11') gave Hyderabad FC the lead in the game in the first half but a strong second-half saw Odisha make a comeback with goals from Diego Mauricio (11') and Victor Rodriguez (86'). Manolo Marquez's men finished the match with 10 players after Gurmeet Singh was shown the red card in the dying moments of the game.
The fixture started with both teams looking to dominate the proceedings, Odisha FC created quick attacks and had a couple of close calls on the corners but Hyderabad FC scored the opening goal when Javier Siverio headed in Borja Herrera's corner in the 11th minute.
The attacking duo of the Juggernauts, Diego Mauricio and NandhaKumar Sekar combined in the 18th minute only for the latter to shoot at Hyderabad FC's diving Gurmeet Singh.
After taking the lead, Manolo Marquez's men continued their efforts to increase the lead. Meanwhile, the Juggernauts kept their quest for the equaliser alive and came close in the 34th minute when Mauricio dribbled his way to the edge of the box and unleashed a shot only for the ball to go inches wide.
Princeton Rebello went off injured four minutes before the half-time mark, the midfielder was replaced by Paul Ramfangzauva.
The last action of the first half saw Chinglensana Singh receiving the yellow card for bringing Odisha FC's Jerry Mawihmingthanga down on the counter. Victor Rodriguez's effort went wide to end the first half with the Odisha FC trailing 1-0.
The second half began with Hyderabad FC getting the chance to double their lead with an inviting cross for Siverio who headed it wide. From one end and to another, Odisha FC scored the equaliser after a low corner was flicked on at the near post and Mauricio was at the end of the scramble to head the ball in to bring Clifford Miranda's men back into the match and the competition.
WE GO THROUGH TO THE SEMISSSSS 👊😎#OdishaFC— Odisha FC (@OdishaFC) April 17, 2023
Both teams made changes at the 65th minute-mark as Nandhakumar and Jerry came off to be replaced by Isak Ralte and Ankit Jadhav for Odisha FC. Marquez sent Halicharan Narzary to boost up his attack in place of midfielder Sahil Tavora.
The Juggernauts' substitute Ralte had a close chance when he sprinted to a through ball on the left wing and cut in to find space for the shot only to see it sky above in the 83rd minute.
The continuous pressure for Clifford Miranda's men paid off as they completed the comeback two minutes after the prior chance, Mauricio dribbled his way in from the right wing to set-up an inch perfect through ball to the far post and Rodriguez was at the right spot to tap the ball in and put the fixture in Odisha FC's corner.
The last action of the match came with Gurmeet Singh of Hyderabad FC receiving his marching orders after bringing down Mauricio who was through on goal, Joao Victor stepped in the goal as Marquez's men finished the match with 10 players.
Odisha FC qualified for the semi-finals of the Hero Super Cup after beating Hyderabad FC in the final fixture of Group B. The Juggernauts came from behind to claim the bragging rights as the Group B winners.
East Bengal FC drew their must-win match against Aizawl FC in the other fixture of Group B concluding their hopes of qualifying for the last four stage earlier in the day.