Odisha FC steamrolled past Hyderabad FC by 3-0 at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium tonight to bring up their fourth consecutive victory in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season. The Kalinga Warriors’ in-form striking duo Diego Mauricio and Roy Krishna were on the money as the visitors capped off a convincing win to move to the top of the points table, displacing Kerala Blasters FC.

Joao Victor is the sole foreigner starting matches for Hyderabad FC at the moment, and accordingly there is added responsibility in his shoulders to uplift both his performance as well as that of the entire team around him. Unfortunately for them, it was a misplaced pass by him that led to Mauricio pouncing upon the chance and hitting the ball past Gurmeet Singh to open the scoring for Sergio Lobera & Co.

Throughout the game, Odisha FC went about their business with an impeccable sense of assurance. They perhaps expected to take three points from this encounter, and the sheer individual brilliance in their ranks blended with the seamless consistency with which they operate under Lobera came together to ensure that they suffered no hiccups in their pursuit of this victory.

Isak Vanlalruatfela has been one of the most improved domestic stars in Odisha FC this season, and it was a moment of magic by him that helped them double the lead before the halftime break. Receiving the ball en route to his way inside the box, Isak demonstrated some quick feet and some innate composure in the final third to find an unmarked Roy Krishna on the right. The Fijian received the squared up pass, and had no hesitation in merely slotting the ball into the back of the net, adding another feather to the illustrious season that he has had so far.

After Isak, it was Princeton Rebello’s turn to show his prowess. Having spent time with Lobera at FC Goa, Princeton moved to Odisha FC when his former head coach returned to the league. Whilst chances haven’t come across frequently so far, he gave a good account of the strengths that he possesses, dazzling ahead through the centre, charging towards the Hyderabad FC defence before splitting it wide open for an onrushing Mauricio to strike the ball in and get his second goal of the match in the 75th minute.

Key Performer of the Match

Diego Mauricio (Odisha FC)

The Brazilian consciously limited his involvement in the proceedings in the final third. He made only 14 passes, but completed 10 of them, in addition to being extremely efficient whenever opportunities came his way to bag the brace. The clinical show he put on tonight was arguably the biggest differential point between the two opponents here.

What’s next for both teams?

Odisha FC will be squaring off against FC Goa on February 9, whereas Hyderabad FC will play Mohun Bagan Super Giant the following day.

Brief Scores

Hyderabad FC 0 - 3 Odisha FC (Diego Mauricio 27’ 75, Roy Krishna 45+1’)

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