Odisha, Kerala sign off with eight-goal thriller

The penultimate match of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 league phase saw Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters FC play out a thrilling 4-4 draw at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Striker Manuel Onwu was the hero for the home team with a hat-trick, while Kerala captain Bartholomew Ogbeche scored a brace on the night. It was both teams’ final match of the Hero ISL 2019-20 season.

  • Manuel Onwu gave Odisha a lead in the 1st minute but a Narayan Das own goal in the 6th minute restored parity for Kerala.
  • Messi Bouli handed Kerala the lead in the 28th minute but Onwu converted a free kick eight minutes later to make it 2-2.
  • Martin Perez Guedes converted a penalty in the 44th minute to make the scoreline 3-2 in Odisha’s favour.
  • Six minutes after the restart, Onwu scored from a free kick again to complete his hat-trick make it 4-2 for Odisha.
  • Ogbeche scored from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute and then again in added time to end the match at 4-4.

The home team struck within the first minute as Jerry Mawihmingthanga set up Onwu with the brilliant cross. The Spaniard headed in his 5th goal of the season to give Odisha a 1-0 lead. The advantage, however, lasted barely five minutes. Messi Bouli’s driven cross from the left flank was turned into his own net by Odisha defender Narayan Das as the visitors drew level.

The two early goals set up an entertaining contest with both teams looking to seize the initiative. Odisha had a couple of half chances at one end while at the other, Bartholomew Ogbeche forced a brilliant save from Odisha goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro in the 13th minute. Fifteen minutes later, however, Dorronsoro had no chance as Messi controlled Jessel Carneiro’s crossfield pass and fired in a vicious shot to make it 2-1 in Kerala’s favour.

Odisha hit right back in the 36th minute through Onwu. The 32-year-old forward curled in a wonderful free kick from almost 30 yards out to bring his team on level footing in the contest. With the half time whistle approaching, Odisha were awarded a penalty after Raju Gaikwad’s challenge on Onwu inside the Kerala box. Martin Perez Guedes stepped up to convert the spot kick to give Odisha a 3-2 lead.

Odisha could have pulled even further ahead in the final seconds of added time as Onwu found himself through on goal. But Bilal came out just in time to deny the Spaniard a first half hat trick. The teams headed into the break with the home side holding a one-goal lead.

Six minutes after the restart, Onwu converted yet another free kick to complete his treble and make it 4-2 for Odisha.

Trailing by two goals, Kerala started throwing caution to the wind in an attempt to claw their way back into the contest and almost pulled a goal back in the 67th minute as Ogbeche fed Messi from out wide. The Cameroonian nudged it goalwards but Dorronsoro did just enough to thwart the danger.

Kerala’s adventurous approach left a lot of space in their defence and Odisha almost capitalized around the 75-minute mark. Narayan found Xisco Hernandez with a cut back and the Spaniard had the beating of Bilal. But unfortunately for the Spaniard, the ball came out after hitting the post. Four minutes later, Nandhakumar Sekar, too, hit the woodwork, letting Kerala off the hook.

The drama, however, was far from over. Ogbeche converted a penalty in the 82nd minute to make the scoreline 4-3, setting up a thrilling end to the contest.

Into added time, Dorronsoro’s dangerous charge on Ogbeche prompted the referee to point towards the spot yet again. Ogbeche tucked away the spot kick to score his 15th goal of the season, concluding a dramatic 4-4 tie.

Hero of the Match – Manuel Onwu

Onwu continued his stellar form in the Odisha shirt, scoring a brilliant hat-trick on the night, taking his tally to seven goals in five matches for the Bhubaneswar-based club. His eye-catching performance handed him the Hero of the Match award.

AWARDS

Club Award – Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters FC

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Bartholomew Ogbeche

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Jessel Carneiro

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Jerry Mawihmingthanga

Hero of the Match – Manuel Onwu

Watch the match highlights here:

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