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AFC Cup: Odisha FC creates history, qualifies for Zonal semi-finals

Odisha FC got better of Basundhara Kings in the final group game of the AFC Cup to qualify for the Zonal semi-finals.

Odisha FC

Odisha FC celebrating after scoring against Bashundhara Kings (Source: OFC Media)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 12 Dec 2023 3:29 AM GMT

ISL outfit Odisha FC created history after defeating Bangladesh’s Basundhara Kings in the final group game to qualify for the zonal semi-finals on Monday.

In a match which was dominated by the swift gameplay of Odisha, the defining strike came from Mourtada Fall in the 61st minute.

Odisha started the game with Goddard, Mauricio and Jahouh controlling the game but failed to find any opening.

In the 45th minute, Gafurov was handed a red card reducing Basundhara Kings to ten men.

After continuous attempts at Basundhara’s goal, Odisha scored the defining goal in the 61st minute when Fall’s header sent Kalinga into ruptures.

In the other group game, Mohun Bagan went down to Maziya Sports & Recreation of Maldives to exit from the group league stage.

Mohun Bagan failed to make a comeback after a Hassan Raif stunner gave Maziya the breakthrough in the 40th minute and that goal proved to be the difference between the two teams.

Mohun Bagan finished their AFC Cup campaign in third place with seven points, while Maziya bowed out having collected six points from as many matches.

The Indian heavyweights were unlucky as Taison Singh's powerful 50th minute strike from outside the box rattled the underside of the crossbar and bounced across the goal before Maziya custodian Hussain Shareef pounced on it.

In the 66th minute, Maziya right-back Hussain Sifaau's shot from distance missed the Bagan goal by inches after taking a slight deflection on its way.

Substitute Hamza Mohamed's shot from a tight angle was blocked by Bagan goalkeeper Shaikh four minutes later.

Hamza Mohamed hit the woodwork and Hassan Nazeem tested Shaikh with an acrobatic effort in the second-half injury time, but the one goal proved to be enough for the Maldives side to record their second win in the group stage.

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