Home FOOTBALL ISL (Indian Super League) ISL 2020-21: Impressive Hyderabad FC cruise home with 3 points against Odisha...

ISL 2020-21: Impressive Hyderabad FC cruise home with 3 points against Odisha FC


The most unexpected of an impressive performance by Hyderabad FC under new management and powered by their new star striker Aridane Santana meant that they won their opening game against a young Odisha side in the opening game for both teams in the new Hero ISL season.

Image Source: ESPN India Twitter

While both teams were without a few of their regular first-choice players, Hyderabad FC opted for the traditional 4-4-2 setup in Manuel Marquez’s first Managerial bow in the ISL while Stuart Baxter opted for his young guns to go out with a more modern 4-2-3-1 setup for Odisha FC.

The game started with Hyderabad FC dominating possession in the initial exchanges of the game. Not only did they just have the ball in more comfortable areas but they were also able to penetrate the backline early on with a succession of 3 corners in the first 8 minutes itself. While Aridane missed a golden chance from a free header at one corner, Mishra’s long-range effort was also saved by Odisha keeper Arshdeep Singh.

The possession & penetration continued for Hyderabad FC while Baxter’s Odisha FC looked to be rushed and hurried in the possession and lacking ideas as even Marcelinho, the ex-Hyderabad FC star for Odisha was not able to create any decent chances. Poojary also headed wide from another corner for Hyderabad FC.

The game-changing moment though came in the 33rd minute when star defender and Odisha FC Captain Steven Taylor had allegedly handed the ball with his arm while blocking a shot inside the box which resulted in a penalty for Hyderabad FC. The ex-Odisha striker Aridane unlike Marcelinho the other way round, was able to provide the spark where he calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net from the resulting penalty and ran off in celebration of giving his new team the advantage.

Manuel Onwu had two decent moments in the game after the goal for Odisha but none of his attempts really troubled the Hyderabad FC keeper Subrata Pal. Aridane also had a decent chance in the closing moments of the first half but couldn’t score. At half-time, Hyderabad FC lead the scoreline1-0 and also had a humongous lead on the corner count with 5-1 to their benefit.

Marcelinho had a disappointing game and was replaced early on in the second half by an 18-year old winger, something that Odisha FC has a history of doing with young players and not scared to give them a deserved chance. Liston Colaco, a promising Goan also came on for Hyderabad FC.

In the 62nd minute, Hyderabad FC had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside. Liston who had come on made an impressive and quite dazzling run from deep in midfield and almost managed the literally glide into the opposition penalty box but was only inches away from finding the bottom right corner from his left boot. The Goan kept on impressing everyone as he looked quite “Jack Grealish like” to say the least on the ball and kept winning fouls and creating havoc in the Odisha FC defense.

Corners kept flowing in for Hyderabad as Aridane Santana missed another good opportunity from the set-piece and Holicharan Narzary missed a golden opportunity to but the game beyond doubt in the dying moments of the 90. There was a little promise from Odisha FC late on to equalize as Hyderabad FC closed out the game to win 1-0 and achieve their first clean sheet in Hero ISL history.

Hyderabad FC deserved the victory over the piece as with 55% of the ball and 18 shots to add to the 8 corners showed that Marquez’s men had taken home the initiative. Aridane Santana who scored the decisive penalty also completed 69% of his passes and won 10 aerial duels out of 12 in the game along with countless runs behind the defense and a fantastic work rate. The performance earned him the Hero of the Match award.

Stay Tuned to the Hero ISL 2020-21 as Jamshedpur and Chennaiyin play their first game on Tuesday, 24th November 2020 at 7:30 pm. We can’t wait for the action to kick off again in Goa. Cheers!


Also Read: Super-sub Brandon orchestrates a sensational comeback for FC Goa


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