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ISL semi-final preview: Mohun Bagan vs Odisha FC

After a gripping first-leg semi-final encounter saw Odisha FC secure a historic 2-1 win at home, all eyes are on Mohun Bagan to turn the tide.

ISL semi-final preview: Mohun Bagan vs Odisha FC

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 26 April 2024 11:32 AM GMT

As the Indian Super League (ISL) semi-finals heat up, all eyes are on the upcoming second leg clash between Mohun Bagan and Odisha FC, set to take place at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on the 28th of April at 7:30 PM.

Following a defeat for Mohun Bagan in the first leg at the Kalinga Stadium, Odisha FC is now gearing up to face their formidable opponents on their home turf. Let's delve into the statistical trends from the first leg and the season as a whole to gain insights into what we can expect from this pivotal match.

What happened in Bhubaneswar

Odisha FC clinched a 2-1 victory over Mohun Bagan Super Giant (MBSG) in the first leg of their ISL 2023-24 semi-final clash at the Kalinga Stadium. This marked their first-ever ISL win over MBSG after nine attempts. Despite an early lead by Manvir Singh for MBSG, goals from Carlos Delgado and Roy Krishna secured the win for Odisha FC. Both teams ended the match with 10 men, with Delgado and Armando Sadiku receiving red cards. The game showcased tight defensive organization from both sides, with Petratos assisting Singh's goal for MBSG and Jahouh assisting Delgado's equalizer for Odisha FC. Krishna's goal, assisted by Amrinder Singh's long ball, sealed the win and marked him as Odisha FC's top scorer in a single ISL season with his 13th goal.

Season stats

Mohun Bagan has been a dominant force in front of goal, leading the league with an impressive tally of 48 goals from 23 games. Leading their attacking line-up are Jason Cummings and Dimitri Petratos, each contributing 10 goals, while Armando Sadiku has added 8 to the tally. Additionally, Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco have been pivotal, both notching 4 goals each, making them the joint top Indian scorers for Mohun Bagan Super Giant (MBSG).

While their offensive capabilities have been outstanding, Mohun Bagan's defensive solidity has also been notable, securing them the fourth position in clean sheets, just one less than Odisha FC.

On the other hand, Odisha FC has displayed a potent attacking threat throughout the season, netting a total of 39 goals, placing them fourth in the league for goals scored. Leading their attacking charge is Roy Krishna, who has been prolific with 13 goals to his name, closely followed by Diego Mauricio with 11 goals.

Battle of master tacticians

The clash between Sergio Lobera and Antonio Habas adds an intriguing layer of tactical and managerial dynamics to an already heated rivalry between their respective teams.

Sergio Lobera, known for his possession-based style of play and emphasis on fluid attacking movements, has left a mark on Indian football since his arrival in the ISL. His coaching philosophy prioritizes intricate passing patterns, high pressing, and creative freedom for his players in the final third. Under his guidance, FC Goa, Mumbai City FC and Odisha FC always dazzled spectators with their attractive brand of football, consistently challenging opponents with their relentless attacking moves..

On the other hand, Antonio Habas brings a pragmatic approach to the game. Renowned for his tactical astuteness and ability to adapt to various oppositions, Habas has steered Mohun Bagan to the league shield with a blend of defensive solidity and clinical counter-attacking moves. His teams are well-drilled, organized defensively, and lethal on the break, making them a formidable force to reckon with in crucial encounters. Habas is also the most decorated coach in the history of Indian Super League.

With contrasting approaches set to collide on the field, Lobera will look to impose his team's possession-based game and dictate the tempo of play, Habas will likely focus on disrupting Odisha FC's rhythm and exploiting spaces on the counter. Their ability to make decisive in-game adjustments, read the ebb and flow of the match, and inspire their players under pressure will play a huge role in determining the outcome of the semi-final second leg.

Where to watch

Fans can catch the live action on Sports18 and Jio Cinema.

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