ISL 2020: Odisha FC Suffer Defeat in their Opening Match against Hyderabad FC

The new season of the Indian Super League (ISL) kicked off yesterday as Odisha FC suffered a 0-1 defeat against Hyderabad FC in their opening match. Aridane Santana calmly slotted a penalty down the middle of the goal to give Manuel Roca’s team an early lead. The penalty was conceded by Odisha FC skipper Steven Taylor as he handled the ball in the 18-yard box.

Hyderabad FC made a strong start at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, winning three corner kicks within the first ten minutes of the game. Santana went close to scoring on one of the occasions and The Nizams continued to dictate the tempo of the game throughout the first half.

Four of Odisha FC’s six new foreign signings featured in the game and the fans were particularly keen on watching star signing and captain Steven Taylor in action. The former Newcastle United defender showcased signs of leadership that is much-needed in a young side. Although he conceded the penalty, Taylor looked solid in defence and tried his best to cheer his side on after going behind.

However, Hyderabad FC were just too strong and managed to hold their lead and threaten to extend it on a couple of occasions in the second half. Liston Colaco came close to securing a 2-0 lead for The Nizams as he dragged a shot narrowly wide around the 70th minute in the game. Halicharan Narzary too had a great chance that he failed to convert in the last quarter of the match.

One key area where Odisha FC would look to improve in the upcoming games is the central midfield. The inexperienced duo of Thoiba Singh and Saurabh Meher lacked the kind of steel required to dictate the central areas of the pitch. However, this could change once Cole Alexander is ready to start as the South African has plenty of experience under his belt.

Odisha FC’s second match of the season is against Jamshedpur FC on November 29.

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