Odisha edge out SC East Bengal 2-1, keep semifinal hopes alive

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Javier Hernandez scored a decisive goal as Odisha FC beat SC East Bengal 2-1 to keep their Indian Super League (ISL) semi-final hopes alive here on Monday.

The result has lifted Odisha to sixth place in the points table.

Jonathas (23′) gave Odisha an early lead that lasted until Antonio Perosevic (64′) equalized in the second half. Hernández (75′) regained the leadership of the OFC with a precise definition that was the winner in the end.

In the early stages of the match, Odisha FC applied a lot of pressure and was rewarded with a goal from Jonathas.

The center for the goal was provided by Hernández, who opened space on the right flank and served the ball on a layup for the striker who finished from close range.

Looking for an equalizer, Hira Mondal tried it just before half time, but his left-footed shot went wide.

The first half ended with the Kalinga Warriors retaining their one-goal lead. The restart saw slower play as neither side could find inspiration in the final third.

The best chance to score the tie fell to Antonio Perosevic two minutes before game time.

A long ball from far away made the striker find space behind the defensive line but his volley was too high.

However, the Croatian did not miss a similar opportunity a few minutes later and equalized with a low shot to the right post.

Odisha FC regained the lead 10 minutes later through Javier Hernández. The midfielder received a dismissal from Jonathas who went from scorer to provider.

The Spaniard’s right-footed shot took a slight detour before deflecting into the back of the net.

Javi seemed to have scored another minute later but Mondal managed to clear the goal line to deny him the goal.

The Red and Gold Brigade had four minutes of added time to find the leveler for the second time that ultimately failed, allowing OFC to pick up three points. PTI IN IN

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