Hyderabad FC edged past Odisha FC 3-2 in a fascinating Hero Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Thursday – a result that also consolidated their position at the top of the points table.

HFC dominated proceedings in the first half but against the run of play, Jerry Mawihmingthanga (45’) scored for Odisha FC. Joel Chianese (50’) leveled the scores for Hyderabad FC minutes into the second half, with Joao Victor’s venomous shot from just outside the box casting Manolo Marquez’s men into the lead.

Akash Mishra (73’) piled on the misery for Kino Garcia’s side when he finished off a great free-kick by Mohammad Yasir. Jonathas Christian (84’) pulled one goal back with a stunning finish into the top corner but that acted as mere consolation, with Hyderabad FC seeing out the game.

The match began with Hyderabad FC dominating most of the play. Chianese had a great opportunity to score when Nikhil Poojary put in a delicious cross but the former headed wide. Soon after that miss, Bartholomew Ogbeche had a great chance to score but a bit of indecision involving him and Aniket Jadhav meant that that opening didn’t come to pass.

Hyderabad FC grew in stature as the half progressed. With intricate passing and their high pressing, they pinned the Juggernauts back into their own half. But they were punished for not taking their chances when Jerry bundled the ball over the line from a Nandhakumar Sekar cross.

Hyderabad FC began the second half just like the first. In the 50th minute, Chianese converted a brilliant cross by Mishra to equalize the score. There was a penalty shout soon after when a deflected header struck Gaurav Bora’s left hand. The referee, though, was unmoved.  

After the failed penalty shout, Javi Hernandez received a great through ball from Isaac Chhakchhuak and was through on goal but the Spaniard failed to hit the target. Victor then got his goal as his shot rifled into the top corner and Hyderabad FC deservedly surged into the lead for the first time in the match. HFC assumed total control of the game when Mishra nodded home from close range minutes later.  

But Odisha FC were not going down without a fight. Jonathas produced a peach of a strike and curled the ball into the top corner to reduce the deficit. The Juggernauts tried their best to restore parity but were kept at bay by Hyderabad FC.

This result keeps Hyderabad FC at the top of the table, with a three-point gap over second-placed Kerala Blasters. The Juggernauts, meanwhile, sit seventh, although they aren’t completely out of the semi-final race. Odisha FC’s next match is against FC Goa on Tuesday, whereas Hyderabad FC take on NorthEast United on Monday.