Odisha FC once again played a thriller to win the match 3-2 against Chennaiyin FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The Kalinga warriors were two goals to the good, courtesy of an own goal from Vafa Hakhamaneshi and Diego Mauricio’s strike from the spot. Josep Gombau’s men were in dominating position until Abdenasser El Khayati came up with a brace to light up the Chennaiyin FC hopes.
But things did not go the way of the visitors unfortunately as Odisha FC bagged the killer blow in the 96th minute as Nandhakumar Sekar left it late to bag all three points for his team. Gombau praised his side and was impressed with the fightback and the mentality that they showed on the pitch.
The Spaniard appreciated Nandha for his relentless work rate on and off the ball. This is also the winger’s second goal in as many games. “We are so happy with Nandha, and he is a very important player for us. He has a lot of quality and he is a player that I like and I believe in him. Together as a team, we do the job, but having someone like him, it’s not just that he scores, but the way that he works when we don’t have the ball, Gombau satiated after the win.
He also credited Jerry Mawihmingthanga for his anticipation and feels that he is also a very integral part of the team alongwith Nandha. Gombau shared how both the players scored against East Bengal and here again they both contributed to the win. “We are also happy with (Jerry Mawihmingthanga). The last goal came from Jerry’s anticipation and Nandha finished. Last week (against East Bengal), both of them scored the third and the fourth goal that allowed us to win the game,” he added.
It was fantastic to see the support for odisha FC at the Kalinga Stadium as the fans went berserk as Nandha slotted in the late winner. The Kalinga Warriors have kept the pride of their name and have not lost a game here. Gombau’s men have a 100% record at the Kalinga Stadium till now and it proves how much of a difference their fans make for the team.
Speaking about the match and the atmosphere around the stadium and also have a great home record till, Gombau shared, “It is excellent. We are happy to be here. The supporters help us in games like today where we won at the last moment. We want them to enjoy, and want them to come back (for every home game). Game by game, we will do our best. We can’t control if we win or lose the game, but what we can assure that we will try to win every single game and make the spectators enjoy.”
Odisha FC have jumped to third spot with this win as they are now five wins from seven matches. They are only a point behind leaders Hyderabad FC and have an inferior goal difference to second placed Mumbai City FC. Gombau’s men will now look forward to continue this winning run as they will face NorthEast United next.