Bhubaneswar: For the second time in three fixtures in ISL-9, Odisha staged a splendid recovery to pick up full points.
Playing their first home match after 982 days, Odisha beat Kerala Blasters 2-1 on Sunday evening here at Kalinga Stadium. An unmarked Harmanjot Khabra headed in from a corner in the 35th minute to hand Kerala Blasters the lead in the first half.
Nine minutes after half-time, Jerry Mawihmingthanga levelled scores with an opportunistic goal after Carlos Delgado’s attempt was blocked by Kerala custodian Prabhsukhan Gill.
Odisha FC continued to dominate exchanges, but had to wait till the 86th minute to nose ahead. It was a fabulous goal by Spaniard Padro Martin, a former Atletico Madrid player. Picking up a long clearance by Odisha goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, Martin controlled the ball with a fine touch and let fly a thunderous volley to the top corner of Blasters netting. The fantastic finish gave Odisha their second win in three matches, as they moved up to third place in the 11-team standings with 6 points.
Odisha had kicked off their campaign with a thrilling 3-2 win in Jamshedpur after overturning a 0-2 deficit, but then lost a close match to hosts Mumbai City FC. The Juggernauts will be at home in their next game, too, when they welcome Bengaluru FC on October 27.