Odisha FC Squander Lead & Stumble To Defeat, Bow Out Of Durand Cup

Bhubaneswar: Odisha FC squandered their lead and stumbled to defeat against Assam’s Bodoland FC on Saturday to bow out of the Durand Cup.

After a goalless first half, the Group F match, played in pouring rain at Kokrajhar’s SAI Stadium, sprang to life past the hour-mark. The youthful Odisha FC side took the lead through Lapung Pungte In the 62nd minute.

Odisha, who needed victory to keep hopes of a knockout berth alive, looked on course only to be stunned by two goals by their unfancied opponents in the last nine minutes.

Maneshwar equalised in the 81st minute and Mbenda found the matchwinner in the 90th minute to seal a historic first-ever win for Bodoland FC in Durand Cup.

Odisha finished with 3 points from as many games, having lost to Army Red earlier. Their only win came against Rajasthan United.

The winners of all six groups, along with two best second-placed teams, will advance to the quarterfinals.

Had Odisha won today, they would have finished with 6 points to be in the running for a knockout berth. Now, they will return home empty-handed.

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