Odisha FC staged an impressive performance to defeat Hyderabad FC 3-1 and secure a spot in the top-six of the Indian Super League (ISL) table. The match, held at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday, was crucial for Odisha as they faced their biggest challenge in the last three rounds of matches.
Isac Vanlalruatfela opened the scoring for Odisha in the 33rd minute, giving them a stunning lead. However, Nim Dorjee Tamang equalized for Hyderabad just before half-time. In the second half, Odisha regained their advantage with an own goal from Tamang and a clinical finish by Diego Mauricio.
This victory propelled Odisha into sixth place on the ISL table, pushing Bengaluru FC out of the top-six. Meanwhile, Hyderabad, who had already qualified for the next round, remained in second place.
Odisha dominated the game from the start, keeping Hyderabad under pressure throughout the first half. Hyderabad struggled to create any significant chances, apart from Tamang’s equalizer.
Odisha had their first opportunity early in the match, but Mauricio’s effort was saved by Hyderabad goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh. Gurmeet made a brilliant double-save in the 23rd minute, denying Nandhakumar Sekar and Mauricio in quick succession.
Mauricio posed a constant threat to the visitors’ defense with his well-timed runs into the box. However, he struggled to find the back of the net. It was Vanlalruatfela who eventually broke the deadlock with a stunning long-range strike.
Hyderabad managed to equalize just before half-time, thanks to Tamang’s diving header from a free-kick. In the second half, both teams pushed for the lead in an exciting end-to-end battle. It was Odisha who eventually took the lead again in the 72nd minute, with Sekar’s shot deflecting off Tamang’s leg and beating Gurmeet.
Odisha maintained their pressure and sealed the victory in added time. Mauricio scored his second goal of the match with a difficult angled shot, assisted by Isaac Vanmalsawma.
Overall, Odisha’s remarkable performance kept their hopes of making it to the playoffs alive, while Hyderabad’s qualification for the next round remained secure.