Crossing several hurdles and making it to the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs for the first time in their history, Odisha FC have set a benchmark for themselves. Following the same route albeit under a different coach, the side have found themselves in the final of the Hero Super Cup.

Topping Group B with seven points alongside the likes of Hyderabad FC, East Bengal FC, and Aizawl FC, the Juggernauts set up a clash against NorthEast United FC in the semi-final. Conceding an early goal through a Wilmar Gil strike, Odisha FC found a reply well within time through a well-taken header by Nandhakumar Sekar. 

Locked at 1-1 after half-time, Odisha FC bounced back with a magnificent goal at the half-an-hour mark. It was Sekar who set up the play for Victor Rodriguez who cheekily backheeled it back to him, with the forward hitting it in the first go to score his second of the night and fourth of the competition. 

"It was a very tough game. We conceded an early goal, but everyone gave their hundred percent, and we were able to make the comeback," said Nandhakumar Sekar in an interaction with the AIFF Media.

An ever-present figure at Odisha FC since their inception in 2019, the 27-year-old knows the importance of winning silverware for the club and had his say on achieving that feat.

"It will be historical for Odisha FC. Everyone has been waiting for this moment - reaching the final and winning the cup. The club, management and the players are very happy," he stated.

The forward was the joint-third highest Indian goalscorer and the club’s second top goalscorer with six goals in the Hero ISL 2022-23 season, playing an influential role in the side’s semi-final finish. He continued his fine scoring form in the Hero Super Cup and has four goals to his name.

"I'm so happy about my scoring form. I'm getting help from my teammates to score goals, and I help the team to win games with my goals," the attacker said on his scoring form.

Facing a momentous task in their first-ever final appearance in a domestic competition, going up against Bengaluru FC – who have made it three out of three finals this season – will be a daunting challenge for the Clifford Miranda-coached side. However, Sekar is confident about his team and is eager to clinch their first silverware.

"It's going to be a very tough game because Bengaluru FC have already played two finals this season - Durand Cup and Hero ISL. They've had a great year. Now, we have to keep our heads down, take rest, and recover well. We do have a game plan for them. We will focus on continuing our winning ways," he concluded.