For Mohun Bagan, it is a statement win with a brace from Dimi Petratos (67′, 82′) buttered up by Sahal Abdul Samad’s maiden goal (46′) for his new club and Liston Colaco’s header (79′).
Mohun Bagan players celebrate after scoring against Odisha FC on Tuesday. Photo: @AFCCup
New Delhi: For Odisha FC, their AFC Cup debut couldn’t have been more nightmarish. As it is they were up against a formidable though known opponent in Mohun Bagan Super Giant. Then getting reduced to 10 men before the half-time sealed their fate as they slumped to a 4-0 loss at their home on Tuesday, in the first group stage game for the two teams.
For Mohun Bagan, it is indeed a statement win after openly declaring ambitions of winning the tournament. In that quest they began in a regal way with a brace from Dimi Petratos (67′, 82′) buttered up by Sahal Abdul Samad’s maiden goal (46′) for his new club and Liston Colaco’s header (79′).
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Though the ball rotated on the feet of the Bagan players, the match was in the balance till Mourtada Fall’s cynical plunge on Hugo Boumous in the 42nd minute forced referee Oman Mubarak from Oman to send him for an early shower, having picked up his first booking in the 10th minute.
Odisha made it to the half time goalless. But within seconds after resumption of play, Bagan went into the lead, with a slick flick from Manvir Singh giving Sahal the space to shot home from the top of the box.
A man down, a goal down, Odisha looked down the barrel, having been unable to bring in their star scoring duo of Diego Maurico and Roy Krishna into the game, who turned out for the first time as team-mates.
⏰ FT | 🇮🇳 Odisha FC 0️⃣-4️⃣ Mohun Bagan Super Giant 🇮🇳
— #AFCCup (@AFCCup) September 19, 2023
Bagan were slow in building up moves but they were patient. And with a such a lethal offensive force where their most high-profile signing Jason Cummings starts from the bench for the second successive match (after Durand Cup final which they won 1-0 against East Bengal), Odisha resembled sitting ducks.
Bagan relished the opportunity with Boumous and Petratos, as always, sniffing and plotting moves, looking to create space. Odisha keeper, Amrinder Singh, formerly of Bagan, presented Bagan with the match-killing moment, parrying an eminently collectable Sahal shot into the path of Petratos for a simple rebound finish.
Also Read: Mohun Bagan ride on offensive firepower to enter group stage for third straight time
With more than 20 minutes to go, the game was done and dusted already. But Bagan were unrelenting and thus head coch Juan Ferrando brought on Cummings and Liston Colaco, who crept into the far post to head in Manvir Singh’s cross.
Petratos’ neat lob over Amrinder after robbing Thoiba Singh off the ball underlined who was the boss at the Kalinga Stadium on the night.
In the group’s other game on the day, Maldives’ Maziya S&RC defeated Bangaldesh’s Basundhara Kings 3-1.