Odisha FC rose to fifth place with a 2-0 victory over NorthEast United in the latest 2021-22 Indian Super League encounter at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda. The win takes OFC from ninth to fifth with only one point separating them from the fourth-placed Mumbai City FC. As for Khalid Jamil and Co, the winless streak extends to five games as they sit in 10th place in the standings.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia (17') gave the Kalinga Warriors an early lead with his first goal of the season. Aridai Suarez (22') extended the advantage five minutes later, being involved in both goals.
Early exchanges saw both sides create half-chances to score. Suhair Vadakkepeedika provided Lalkhawpuimawia with a decent chance but the forward completely miscued his shot from 12-yards out, to the anger of Khalid Jamil on the sideline. NEUFC was punished moments later after the opening goal was scored by Daniel Lalhlimpuia with a simple tap-in. He was served the ball on a platter by Aridai Suarez who weaved past Provat Lakra on the left flank and found the striker with a precise low cross.
The provider then became the scorer after adding his team's second goal on the board. Aridai found space on the left flank, cut inside on his right foot and hit a low shot that escaped Mirshad Michu's grip much to his dismay. OFC kept their noses ahead as both teams went into the halftime break.
The second half saw the Highlanders push for a goal with Hernan Santana blasting his volley against the crossbar from long-range. Post the hour mark, Nandhakumar Sekar who came on from the bench had a great chance to score the third but had his shot saved in a one-on-one situation.
Laldanmawia Ralte looked to have reduced the deficit in the late stages of the match but his goal was ruled out for offside by the officials. The fourth official added four minutes for stoppages following which OFC secured all three points and also recorded a morale-boosting clean sheet.
NorthEast United FC faces Chennaiyin FC in their next outing at the PJN Stadium on Saturday while Odisha FC must wait nine days before meeting Hyderabad FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Thursday.