Odisha FC picked up their first 'home' win at the Kalinga Stadium in the Indian Super League (ISL) as they edged past Jamshedpur 2-1 on Friday. Aridane Santana’s brace in the first half was enough for the hosts to claim three points. For Jamshedpur, Aitor Monroy pulled one back from a penalty.
It took both the teams to settle down as the match got off to a scrappy start. After the first quarter of play, Odisha started gaining some momentum and soon Santana would go on to score his first from Nandhakumar Sekar’s assist in the 28th minute.
Jamshedpur tried to mount a rapid response, coming back strongly and continuing to press higher up the pitch. The Odisha defence was being tested time and again and finally, the away team’s persistence paid off.
Narayan Das made a mistake as he brought down Sumit Passi inside the penalty box. Aitor Monroy confidently converted from the spot to level things up and give Jamshedpur a chance.
However, just before half time, Santana doubled his tally with an incredible effort. Again, Nandhakumar provided the assist with an inch-perfect cross from the left flank which was met by a superb volley from Santana.
The second half was mostly shabby with neither teams creating anything noteworthy. Odisha FC started to killing time to ensure three points as the match entered the final quarter. Josep Gombau introduced Martin Guedes and Bikramjit Singh to strengthen his defence in the closing minutes and eventually, Odisha held on to their lead.
Gombau later said in the post-match press conference how great it was to finally play in front of the home support. He said, "It was a very good feeling to finally play at home. We are grateful to the people who came out and helped us win our first game at the Kalinga Stadium."
With the win, Odisha climbed to the sixth position on the league table while Jamshedpur remained fourth.