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ISL Update: Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters play out an entertaining 2-2 draw

Kerala Blasters and Odisha FC played an intensely fought match in the Indian Super League on Thursday in what was labeled to be a dead rubber considering Odisha’s situation. The bottom club though made a valiant effort and a stunning performance from their star man Diego Mauricio ensured that they earned a respectable point in a 2-2 draw against Vicuna’s Blasters.

Diego Mauricio scored in either half to ensure a point for Odisha FC against Kerala Blasters (Image Source: Sportstar Twitter)

It was the Kerala Blasters who started the game in better shape even though Odisha FC made it a cagey affair in their attempt to regain and then keep possession of the ball early on. The game did lack a creative edge and it was only at the half-hour mark that Gary Hooper for the Blasters made his first attempt at goal which was wide off target.

Odisha FC goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh made a huge error in the box as he gave the ball away to Kerala Blasters in his own penalty area but Juande couldn’t capitalize for the team in white. The Blasters did seem to have better of the ball for the remainder of the half but without the creativity in the final third. Surprisingly then, it was Odisha FC who took the lead through Diego Mauricio as he capitalized on the through ball by Jerry and left the keeper on the floor with his unerring finish. Blasters trailed 0-1 going into half-time.

Kerala Blasters started the second half with that extra fizz about them in the Odisha FC half and it only took seven minutes for Gary Hooper to take the ball in his stride and square the ball to his partner Jordan Murray who sneaked into the six-yard box to grab the equalizer. Rahul KP missed his attempt from a corner before Gary Hooper unsuccessfully tested Arshdeep Singh.

It needed a bit of Sahal magic for the Kerala Blasters as his inch-perfect reverse ball was pounced on by Gary Hooper to make a field day out for the forward with his goal coming after already getting an assist to put Odisha FC on the backfoot at 1-2 down in the game. Jordan Murray forced a couple of decent saves in the next few minutes from Arshdeep Singh but the Blasters couldn’t increase their advantage.

The 74th minute proved to be a useful counter punch for Odisha FC as they unlocked the Kerala Blasters defense with the combination of a Jerry cutback assist and another sublime Diego Mauricio finish to get the game level to 2-2. Bradden Inman and Costa Nhamoinesu missed good chances for a late winner for their respective sides as the match ended on the 2-2 scoreline leaving Kerala Blasters frustrated in their pursuit of the upper mid-table finish. The point didn’t add much to the Odisha armory but respect for their spirit under the new interim manager.

Diego Mauricio was awarded the Hero of the Match and Sahal Abdul Samad was awarded the DHL Winning Pass of the Match as players from Kerala Blasters as well as Odisha FC cashed in the awards.

SC East Bengal plays Hyderabad FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on the 12th of February 2021 in an important match for Roca’s side in their Top 4 battle whereas Robbie Fowler’s men will look to progress on their positive track. The action will be LIVE at 7:30 pm IST on Star Sports 2 and Hotstar. Stay Tuned!

 

Also Read: Jamshedpur FC beat Chennaiyin FC to rekindle their playoff hopes

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