ISL-7: Odisha FC Rout Kerala Blasters 4-2 To Post Maiden Win; Mauricio Nets Two

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Bambolim (Goa): Odisha FC rode a Diego Mauricio masterclass to post their first victory in ISL-7 with a memorable performance against Kerala Blasters at the GMC Stadium here on Thursday evening.

Down by an early goal, Odisha FC dominated Kerala Blasters for most of the match to win 4-2.

Jordan Murray scored in the seventh minute to help Blasters nose ahead. The equalizer came 15 minutes later when Mauricio’s shot was deflected into the goal by Blasters midfielder Jeakson Singh.

Odisha FC continued to pressurize the Kerala defence and their efforts bore fruit. Skipper Steven Taylor put Odisha FC ahead in the game with a fine finish in the 42nd minute.

Brazilian Mauricio then got into the act to net a brace – in the 50th and 60th minute. His second one was a world-class goal, as he cut in from the right, evaded the challenge of three Kerala defenders and scored with a brilliant angular shot to the second post.

Substitute Gary Hooper pulled one back after 79 minutes, but it was too little too late.

Odisha FC, who had the misfortune of seeing a shot hit the post, could have won by an even bigger margin.

It was Odisha’s first win in nine games, having drawn two and lost six. They, however, continue to be lodged at the bottom of the 11-team league with 5 points. Kerala Blasters, with 6 points, occupy the 10th place.

“It’s a great relief to have a win under the belt… Congratulations to the boys for playing a brilliant game,” coach Stuart Baxter said.

While Mauricio was adjudged Hero of the Match, Jerry Mawihmingthanga bagged the Winning Pass of the Match award for his brilliant display.

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