Comeback win for Odisha FC thanks to Roy Krishna | Football News - Hindustan Times
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Comeback win for Odisha FC thanks to Roy Krishna

ByDhiman Sarkar, Kolkata
Apr 23, 2024 10:34 PM IST

League shield winners Mohun Bagan Super Giant lose first leg semi-final 1-2 after both teams end with 10 players

The goals had dried up over the past two seasons. He had been off-loaded by ATK Mohun Bagan but though he scored against them in the 2022-23 final, it seemed Roy Krishna’s best days in the Indian Super League (ISL) were past him. Odisha FC thought otherwise, ignored that he would be 37 in August, and signed the Fiji international.

Roy Krishna got his 13th goal of the ongoing season(FSDL / ISL)
Roy Krishna got his 13th goal of the ongoing season(FSDL / ISL)

Part of the reason could be coach Sergio Lobera’s ability to get the best out of cast-offs. And Krishna’s ISL career, which began because of Antonio Lopez Habas, got a second wind. On Tuesday, Krishna got his 13th goal of the season. It is the most he has scored since winning ISL in 2019-20 and playing the final next term.

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That goal, after Manvir Singh’s third minute strike was cancelled by Carlos Delgado in the 11th, gave Odisha FC a comeback 2-1 win in the semi-final first-leg. After 13 games, they remained unbeaten at home this term. After Habas replaced Juan Ferrando, it was the second time in 2024 that league shield winners Mohun Bagan Super Giant had lost in ISL.

For a team that likes to keep the ball and move it with a tapestry of passes, Odisha FC couldn’t have gone more direct than they did in the 39th minute. Amrinder Singh punted it up the Kalinga Stadium park, Krishna tried to bring it down with a header but couldn’t control it. Mohun Bagan central defender Hector Yuste fluffed his clearance and Krishna muscled past him to score with the outside of his boot.

Krishna drawing a foul from Vishal Kaith in the 14th minute would have led to a penalty, referee Tejas Nagvenkar even pointed to the spot, but he was marginally off-side. Through Tuesday evening, Krishna tormented Yuste, the Spaniard barreling into him was proof of how the match had gone for the reliable Mohun Bagan player.

Armando Sadiku’s barrelling into Ahmed Jahouh in the 67th minute after flailing an arm at Amey Ranawade, both totally unnecessary, led to Mohun Bagan being down to 10. Delgado’s handball in the 73rd restored parity in personnel. Narender Gahlot’s scuffed clearance hit Anirudh Thapa’s thigh, Anwar Ali volleyed over a Dimitri Petratos free-kick and Krishna nearly found Mawihmingthanga but the scoreline didn’t change after Manvir Singh and Delgado scored off poorly defended corner-kicks. Eight days after becoming India champions, Mohun Bagan face a battle for survival at home on Sunday.

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