Odisha FC did not bring anything new to the table in their season opener against Jamshedpur FC...
The now-defunct Delhi Dynamos were good at operating through the flanks, finding spaces and attacking in numbers. What they weren't great at, especially in the last few seasons, were winning matches.Ã‚Â
They would perform reasonably well at timesÃ‚Â and still concede late goals and drop points. Delhi Dynamos are now Odisha FC in a different city withÃ‚Â a different set of supporters but most of the same staff and most notably, the same look and feel.Ã‚Â
The squad consists ofÃ‚Â a lot of the same players and hasÃ‚Â the same head coach.Ã‚Â Josep Gombau's teamÃ‚Â lacked the finesse to fight against a Jamshedpur side that played with ten men for 65 minutes.Ã‚Â
Credit to both teams for starting the game with positive intent. They wanted to score and former Jamshedpur winger Jerry Mawhmingthanga, now with Odisha, tormented the full-backs and posed a serious threat in the first half.
In an alternate reality where Farukh Choudhary finished his chances, Jamshedpur would have won this fixture quite easily. But the Indian forward's work rateÃ‚Â cannot be questioned and it was his drilled cross from the right that made way for the opening goal - an own goal by Rana Gharami, which was weirdly awarded to the crosser.
There were periods in the game where Odisha looked like they had control of the game and Bikas Jairu's red card only eased matters for Gombau's men, albeit temporarily.Ã‚Â New signing Xisco Hernandez was delightful to watch at times and it was the Spaniard who made the secondary assist for the equaliser. He fed Jerry through the right and the cross into the box was stupendously hit into the net by Aridane Santana.
If one expected Odisha to take control and boss the game from there on, Antonio Irionda and Jamshedpur had other plans. The 10 Men of Steel closed down the gaps, stayed organized at the back and won the second balls, denying Odisha space to operate. Their efforts were finally rewarded when the fatigue kicked in and spaced opened up at both ends.Ã‚Â
Piti showed his class with his brilliant first touches and accurate passing throughout the match.Ã‚Â He was the primary architect behind Jamshedpur's winner as he carried the ball forward from defence brushing aside a half-hearted challenge from Bikramjit Singh to set up Sergio Castel. The striker kept his calm in a one-on-one position withÃ‚Â Francisco Dorronsoro and his dink over the keeper's head was enough to send Odisha packing.Ã‚Â
Luckily for Gombau, it was the first match of the season. With plenty of time to get to winning ways, Odisha must ensure that this chapter isn't from an old story.Ã‚Â