Odisha FC beat NorthEast United FC 1-0 in their Indian Super League clash at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday. Diego Mauricio’s 37th minute strike was enough to give the hosts three points.
Spearheaded by the centre back duo of Narender Gahlot and Carlos Delgado, Odisha restricted NorthEast into taking only three shots on target in the game. The home team’s midfield duo of Ahmed Jahouh and Lalthathanga Khawlhring guarded the backline to perfection, with the former controlling the tempo of the proceedings.
As Odisha held their defence together, Brazilian striker Maurcio kept pressing higher up on the field to build pressure on NorthEast United.
Mirshad Michu denied Mauricio 26th minute, but the latter didn’t give up. He, in fact, compelled Michu into misplacing a pass that the forward conveniently collected and shot it past the goalkeeper to hand Odisha the lead in the 37th minute.
NorthEast United star Parthib Gogoi produced a remarkable effort that nearly drew scores level in the 57th minute. One of his shots was blocked inside the box, but he withdrew a little bit and shot strongly on target only to be warded off by a full stretched Amrinder Singh.
Singh thus inched closer to his counterpart Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who has the most clean sheets for a goalkeeper in the ISL (40), just one more than the Odisha FC custodian (39).