ISL 2021-22: Odisha FC jumps to fifth spot after beating NorthEast United 2-0

The Kalinga Warriors have 16 points from 11 games in the Indian Super League.
ISL 2021-22: Odisha FC jumps to fifth spot after beating NorthEast United 2-0

Jerry Mawihmingthanga (left) and Daniel Lalhlimpuia (right) celebrate Odisha FC's first goal.

After the postponement of four games, the 2021-22 ISL returned as Odisha FC defeated NorthEast United 2-0 at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Tuesday.

The Kalinga Warriors wrapped the game in the first half, thanks to Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Aridai Cabrera.

The struggles of Northeast United under Khalid Jamil continue as they suffered their seventh defeat in 12 matches. The Highlanders have nine points while they are placed tenth in the league.

Both teams had a slow start as players were still finding their groove. Odisha FC took an early lead as Aridai Cabrera went past the Highlander defence from the left to find Daniel Lalhlimpuia, who scored the first goal.

Then, four minutes later, the Kalinga Warriors doubled their lead as Aridai Cabrera scored his fifth goal in the 2021-22 ISL season. The 33-year-old Spaniard took the shot from the top of the box as Northeast United goalkeeper Mirshad Michu jumped to block the ball but failed to stop the goal.

Odisha FC went in the half-time break on a two-goal advantage as NorthEast United continued to find an opening. A similar story continued as the Highlanders started the second half behind the 8-Ball. NorthEast forward Hernan Santana finally got a golden opportunity but hit the crossbar as the score remained 2-0. The Kalinga Warriors continued dominating possession until the 88th minute where Danmawia Ralte finally scored for NorthEast United, but the goal was called off as Ralte was deemed offside.

In the post-match press conference, NorthEast United Coach Khalid Jamil discussed the team's performance against Odisha FC. He said, "We weren't completely outplayed by Odisha FC. We weren't in good shape in the first 25 minutes but we came in the game later. We tried in the second half too but could not find the goals."

Jamil also threw light on how injuries affected the team and were a crucial factor in the defeat. He said, "We cannot blame the defence, the midfield and attack need to work hard too. I think we lost this game because we missed Deshorn Brown and some other players. We had to play some different players in the positions too. Everybody tried, and it worked in the second half."

Odisha FC assistant coach Anshul Katiyar was elated by the team's victory against the Highlanders and also talked about Daniel's performance where he scored the opening goal. Katiyar said, "It is always a good experience when you win and you learn something when you lose. Coming from a difficult situation, the boys did really well today. Building the team is a process and we are not just looking at this season. Processes always take time and this is just the start. If we finish in the top four or top of the league, it will provide a very strong base to the club going forward.

Daniel scores or any other number nine scores, it is very important for Indian players to score goals. Most of these opportunities go to the stronger players, that is why you expect more from these players who come off the bench. It is excellent for them and the club when they get on the scoresheet."

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Jerry Mawihmingthanga (left) and&nbsp;Daniel Lalhlimpuia (right) celebrate Odisha FC's first goal.</p></div>
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