Odisha FC got back to winning ways in an exciting 3-2 win over Bengaluru FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24.

Sunil Chhetri inched closer to becoming the all-time leading goal-scorer in the ISL with his 58th strike in the league. His knack of finding the back of the net was evident straightaway as the striker beat his marker and Odisha goalkeeper Amrinder Singh to drill the ball into the bottom left corner of the net in the eighth minute of the game. Chhetri now stands five behind Bartholomew Ogbeche, who has notched the most goals in the history of the league (63).

Across his three tenures in the ISL, Lobera has been a proponent of strong defensive discipline. Prior to this match, teams coached by the Spaniard had conceded an average of 1.2 goals per game in the 83 matches he had coached. However, that missing factor has been hurting the Juggernauts in this campaign, with Bengaluru’s Keziah Veendorp cutting through the home team’s defensive line with ease courtesy of a perfectly placed through ball. Ryan Williams met the pass at the centre of the box and slotted it into the bottom right corner to double Bengaluru’s lead in the 18th minute.

It was an engaging passage of play nonetheless, and Odisha came back to reduce the deficit. Jerry Mawihmingthanga has been elevating his playing style to greater levels under Lobera, and he provided a fine assist to Lalthathanga Khawlhring, who netted in the 23rd minute.

Isak Vanlalruatfela had come within touching distance of bagging his first goal of the season multiple times against Kerala Blasters FC. He achieved that at the brink of half-time in this game, as an offensive move led to former Mumbai City FC winger Goddard setting up a fine assist for Isak, who tapped the ball in barely a few yards away from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Irrespective of these well-crafted collective moves, it was a moment of individual brilliance by fullback Amey Ranawade that emerged as the differential point for Odisha in this match. The Juggernauts had been consistently moving forward from the right flank, and Ranawade received the ball at an acute angle in the 60th minute. He unleashed a hopeful shot that fired past Gurpreet to help Odisha round off a captivating comeback win.

Key Performer of the Match

Isak Vanlalruatfela (Odisha FC)

Isak repaid Lobera’s trust in him by completing the 90 minutes after creating three goal-scoring chances, making four crosses, and bagging the all-important equaliser for the home side.

What’s next for both teams?

Odisha FC will next host NorthEast United FC on November 3, whereas Bengaluru will take on Hyderabad FC in the latter’s backyard on the next day.

Brief Scores

Odisha FC 3 (L. Khawlhring 23', I. Vanlalruatfela 45’, A. Ranawade 60') - 2  Bengaluru FC (S. Chhetri 8', R. Williams 18'

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