Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


ISL: Odisha FC revels in the glory of their first ever trophy

On a cold, rainy night, amidst the hallowed grounds of the Medina of Indian football, Odisha FC ascended the summit, their first taste of championship glory.

ISL: Odisha FC revels in the glory of their first ever trophy

Odisha FC won the Hero Super Cup 2023. (Source: Odisha FC website)


Aswathy Santhosh

Updated: 4 Jun 2023 2:26 PM GMT

Odisha FC embarked on the 2022-23 season with sky-high hopes, as they welcomed back their adored head coach, Josep Gombau, for his second spell at the club, along with their esteemed striker, Diego Mauricio. A wave of optimism swept through the team, as they prepared for what promised to be a remarkable campaign.

Odisha FC showcased a commendable performance in the Durand Cup, emerging as the sole team to conclude the group stages with an impeccable record of victories. Nevertheless, their journey took an unfortunate turn in the quarter-finals, as they faced Bengaluru FC.

The match ended in defeat, bringing an end to their quest for the coveted title. Although disappointment lingered, the team's impressive run in the group stages laid a foundation for the ISL season 9.

The Juggernauts soared at home, winning seven out of ten matches in the league in a scorching start. They displayed dominance, triumphing over strong adversaries in a thrilling spree.

Though a defeat against Mumbai City briefly interrupted their stride, they swiftly rebounded with a resounding victory against East Bengal. Closing the season, they secured three more wins and a hard-fought draw, establishing their home ground as an impregnable fortress.

However, their away performances painted a different tale, with only three wins from 10 encounters. Starting with a hard-fought win over Jamshedpur FC, they faced setbacks against formidable opponents like Mumbai City FC and Hyderabad FC. Yet, fueled by resilience, they managed impressive away victories against East Bengal FC and Northeast United FC, salvaging a valuable draw against Chennaiyin FC.

Despite the ups and downs of the season, Odisha FC achieved a remarkable milestone, securing their first-ever playoff qualification by finishing an admirable 6th on the points table, amassing a commendable tally of 30 points.

Spearheading their offensive prowess was the exceptional Diego Mauricio Machado de Brito, who not only emerged as the top scorer for Odisha FC but also claimed the illustrious golden boot, having netted an impressive 12 goals in 21 appearances. Nandhakumar Sekar stood as a formidable force as well, bagging six goals from 20 games.

"It has been a tale of dark colors and bright days for Odisha," as mused by commentator Pulasta Dhar, the ISL season had indeed been such a tale for the Juggernauts. Odisha FC made the surprising decision to part ways with Josep Gombau, just before the Hero Super Cup tournament. This unforeseen move raised questions about the club's long-term ambitions.

However, unbeknownst to the fans, this decision would mark a turning point, ushering in a new era for the team. The club's motto of a new dawn on the horizon held true as the future held something greater than what had passed, a fact that was soon to be revealed.

Tasting success for the first time

Odisha FC swiftly unveiled Clifford Miranda as the guiding force for the Hero Super cup. Though Clifford Miranda's coaching prowess was widely acknowledged within India, skepticism lingered, doubting the potential of an Indian tactician. The Juggernauts commenced their journey with a hard-fought draw against East Bengal, but as the tournament progressed, they emerged with an unwavering resolve.

Like a tempest unfurling its might, they overwhelmed Hyderabad FC and Aizwal FC, leaving no doubt of their dominance as they stormed into the semi-finals. The script repeated itself once more as they clashed with Northeast United FC.

However, this was no ordinary quest; it was a battle that held the key to the coveted silverware and a ticket to the realms of Asia. Bengaluru FC, guided by the astute Simon Grayson, soared high on their wings of success. Among pundits and the footballing fraternity, whispers of doubt permeated the air, questioning whether Clifford's boys possessed the fortitude to halt their adversaries.

However against all odds, Odisha FC accomplished the unimaginable, a feat that defied logic. Fueled by the heroic performance of Diego Mauricio, who unleashed a brace of brilliance, they etched their name in history by winning the Hero Super Cup, the club's first-ever piece of silverware.

On a cold, rainy night, amidst the hallowed grounds of the Medina of Indian football, Odisha FC ascended the summit, their first taste of championship glory.

It was a moment that reverberated with echoes of triumph, an ode to their relentless spirit and unyielding determination. The Juggernauts had finally seized their rightful place atop the pedestal, illuminated by the radiant glow of victory.

Securing a berth in the Group Stage of the esteemed AFC Cup 2023-24 was the next on the agenda. Diego Maurício made sure that they ticked that box as well, a stellar hattrick to seal the win against Gokulam Kerala FC.

Best Moment : The culmination of their season, the zenith of their endeavors, arrived in a magnificent crescendo as Odisha FC, against all odds, grasped their first-ever trophy. It was not merely a trophy they held aloft, but the culmination of dreams, sacrifices, and tireless efforts, which also booked them a spot in the AFC Cup.

Goal Of The Season : Against Hyderabad FC, Isak Vanlalruatfela found himself with the ball on the left side. With no one closing in, he decided to take a shot from outside the box. The ball curled perfectly, dipping at just the right moment, leaving Gurmeet Singh helpless in his attempt to save it. It was a goal that left everyone in awe, a true contender for the goal of the season.

Find Of The Season : Isak Vanlalruatfela Ralte showcased his immense potential in limited appearances. Despite featuring in only ten games, he scored two goals and contributed two assists. If Isak can sustain this level of performance in the coming seasons, he has the potential to become a prized asset, propelling both his club and Indian football to new heights.

Player Of The Season : Diego Mauricio, the top scorer and Golden Boot winner with 12 goals from 21 games, shone as the beacon of brilliance for Odisha FC. His artistry on the field defined their season, making him the undeniable best player for the Kalinga warriors.

Diego Mauricio

The club have wasted no time in preparing for the upcoming season, making astute moves to bolster their squad. They have secured the services of the esteemed Spanish tactician, Sergio Lobera, known for his tactical prowess and remarkable achievements in India.

Additionally, they have welcomed veteran player Ahmed Jahouh, who bring with him a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success.

Odisha FC have embarked upon their burgeoning epoch amidst the wintry downpour, and now they stand poised to embrace the bountiful radiance of their forthcoming days.

Next Story