Bhubaneswar: Super Cup champions Odisha FC revived their AFC Cup campaign with a 6-1 demolition of Maziya Sports & Recreation of Maldives at the Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday.
After defeats against Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Bashundhara Kings, Odisha finally got points on the board in Group D, keeping their hopes of progression to the knockout stage alive.
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It was a flurry of action from the opening whistle with Odisha needing only three minutes to take the lead when Lalthathanga Khawlhring scored on the half-turn after Mourtada Fall had won a header from a corner kick.
Maziya, however, caught their hosts by surprise in the 13th minute from a corner kick of their own. Branimir Jocic met Hamza Mohamed’s delivery with a looping header that caught Odisha custodian Amrinder Singh off guard.
The parity lasted just two minutes as Odisha regained the lead with Carlos Delgado producing an incredible header to guide the ball past Hussain Shareef from an Ahmed Jahouh free-kick.
The Kalinga Warriors went on to increase their lead in the 19th minute when Delgado turned provider, setting up Fall for another header.
After a breathless end-to-end start to the game, the match endured a calmer period and it was only after half-time the intensity picked up once again.
Maziya went close to reducing the gap in the 48th minute when the dangerous Hamza created space by cutting in from the left but his goal-bound shot was pushed out by Amrinder.
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Instead, it was the home side who would score again 10 minutes later, with Maziya’s failure to deal with yet another corner set-piece allowing Amey Ranawade to score through a glorious long-range curler into the bottom corner.
Isak Vanlalruatfela made it 5-1 in the 62nd minute, finishing from close range after Diego Mauricio had beaten the offside trap to square the ball to his teammate. Sahil Panwar scored the sixth goal in added time (90+5th) to cap the resounding win.
The two teams will meet again on November 7.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)