Odisha FC continued their splendid form in the Indian Super League (ISL) with a crucial away win over tailenders Hyderabad FC. Aridane Santana (15', 45') cancelled Marcelinho's (1') early opener and doubled his tally from the spot just before the break.
Hyderabad FC got off to a dream start, with Marcelinho putting them ahead in the first minute. Bobo started the wonderful move with a defence-splitting pass to find Nestor Gordillo on the right flank. The new-signing lobbed a cross into the box for an advancing Nikhil Poojari who had his shot blocked by Francisco Dorronsoro. The ball landed at the feet of Marcelinho who slotted it into the bottom corner from just inside the Odisha box.
The visitors reacted well to going behind by slowly getting themselves into the game. They took very little time to level the scores, with Hyderabad's shambolic defending coming to their aid. Matthew Kilgallon and Gurtej Singh were unable to deal with Shubham Sarangi's long throw into the box. Kamaljit Singh prevented Xisco Hernandez from scoring but Aridane netted the ball on the rebound.
Hyderabad were then handed an opportunity to reclaim their lead from the spot when Sarangi was penalised for handling the ball against Nestor's cross. But Dorronsoro guessed the direction of Bobo's kick and made the save.
The visitors then had a penalty call go in their favour, with Dimple bringing down Aridane in the centre of the six-yard box. The debutant received his second yellow and hence his marching orders in the process.
Aridane scored from the spot to provide his side with the lead before the break and also became the leading goalscorer of the season.
A goal and a man up, Odisha opted to control the game and secure the three points when they took the field in the second half. But they did have their share of chances, with Vinit Rai hitting the crossbar from distance on one such occasion.
On the other hand, Hyderabad took the fight to Odisha towards the end. They created several chances from crosses but were let down by poor finishing from the strikers. The Brazil striker missed two sitters to round up a poor evening in front of goal.
Odisha also had Dorronsoro to thank for three incredible saves in the second half. The Spaniard pulled off a reflex save to deny Giles Barnes from the edge of the six-yard box.