ISL 2020-21 | Santana seals it for Hyderabad

Spot on! Santana sends the Odisha goalkeeper Arshdeep the wrong way.   | Photo Credit: ISL/SPORTZPICS

Aridane Santana’s spot-kick earned Hyderabad FC a 1-0 victory over Odisha FC in its ISL opener at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Monday.

Clean sheet, finally

Hyderabad, which finished at the bottom last season, played a refreshing brand of football under new coach Manolo Marquez. It kept a clean sheet for the first time in 19 games.

Skipper Santana, playing against his former club, was in the thick of things. The Spaniard came close in the fifth minute but missed an open header. In the 26th minute, he floated another header wide.

The Odisha defence, led by former Newcastle player Steven Taylor, looked clueless for most part and struggled to contain Hyderabad’s fluent attacking play.

The turning point came in the 34th minute when Taylor handled Halicharan Narzary’s shot in the box and conceded a penalty. Santana, who scored nine goals in the previous season, slotted home with ease to open his account this campaign.

Manuel Onwu had a chance to equalise late in the first half but wasted the opportunity with a meek attempt while Odisha custodian Arshdeep Singh made two crucial saves to ensure that his side didn’t fall behind further.

Bold move

Odisha coach Stuart Baxter made a bold move early in the second half, replacing ace winger Marcelinho with 19-year-old Laishram Premjit Singh. But the substitution failed to create an impact as Odisha contined to struggle for rhythm.

Hyderabad seemed to have put the tie to bed when Joao Victor struck a fine header in the 63rd minute, but it was ruled off-side. Liston Colaco, coming in for Mohamed Yasir, was a revelation as he had the Odisha defence dancing to his tune. The 22-year-old made many darting runs, attracted fouls and kept the opposition defenders on their toes.

Adil Khan, named Hyderabad’s captain for this season, made a late appearance as his side picked up three points.

The result:

Odisha FC 0 lost to Hyderabad FC 1 (Santana 35-pen).

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 7:47:23 PM |

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