• Thu. Sep 29th, 2022

Odhisa power six past North East United FC in 131st IndianOil Durand Cup Group D opener

     Northeast United FC – 0                                    

   Odhisa Fc – 6

(Jerry 14’, 37, Nandhakumar 25’, Isak 81’, Diego Mauricio 87’, Thoiba Singh 90’)

 In what turned out to be a clinical and professional performance in the end, Josep Gombau’s confident Odhisa FC (OFC) rode on a first half-brace, which included three team strikes in 23 minutes, by Jerry Mawihmingthanga, to run out comfortable 6-0 winners against North East United FC (NEUFC), in Assam’s first ever IndianOil Durand Cup game at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium. 

The first game of Group D meandered a little in the second half but with Isak’s late strike lightening it up, Odhisa put in another three-goal blitz in nine minutes to complete half a dozen.

The damage had been done in the first-half for Subam Rabha’s rebuilding side by the trio of Jerry, Nandhakumar Sekar and Spanish midfielder Pedro Martin primarily. The end just put an authoritative stamp on a story which had been written much before.

Had it not been for the good game that Nikhil Deka had under the bar for the Highlanders, thedamage could have been far greater.

Chief Minister, Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, leads ceremonial opening

The 131st IndianOil Durand Cup is being supported in Assam by the Government of Assam and Hon. Chief Minister, Shri. Himanta Biswa Sarma led the ceremonial opening on the historic occasion of the first ever Durand Cup match in Assam. 

The ceremony also included an Armed Forces bands display as well as a stellar performance of the tournament theme song by star singers Papon and Rewben Mashangwa.

The ceremony concluded with the playing of the FIFA Theme song and introduction of dignitaries with the players and their photos with the teams and the Trophies. 

Jerry stars in the first-half

Odhisa were on the attack from the initial stages itself barring a couple if early forays by the Highlanders. Jerry opened the scoring in the 14th minute, concluding with a fine finish to a well worked out team move. Eleven minutes later the Juggernaut’s keeper Lalthuammawia Ralte got into the act with an accurate throw-out across the field to find Nandhakumar on the left. The Salem lad showed a bit of trickery to take out two defenders before nailing a shot in the top corner. 

Alfred Lalruotsang of North East United FC (White) has a tussle Sahil Panwar of Odisha FC (Red and Black) in the 3rd match of the Durand Cup football 2022 Group D, at Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium on 17-08-2022 Photo: Shantanu Krishnan

Jerry got his second a few minutes later, getting at the end of a Raynier, Pedro, Nadha move to put the game at rest.

Late dazzle in second half

Odhisa came out comfortable in the second half with the natural inclination of asking NEUFC to make the play but their opponents where not in it today. Gombau brought out his substitutes and all three responded with goals showing the hunger in the team.

Isak it was first with a brilliant header off a Nandha corner and then Diego Muricio with a wonder free-kick, before Thoiba Singh in the final minute of the game tapped the six to make it a day to forget for the Highlanders.

NEUFC play the Army Green on August 21, 2022 while OFC take a six-day break to come back on the 23rd to play the Kerala Blasters.

Image credit: Indian Army 

Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee 

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