Odisha FC came from behind to beat SC East Bengal 6-4 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Tuesday. Last season, the teams had shared fifteen goals amongst them in two matches, and the pattern continued this season.
Darren Sidoel (13') opened the scoring for the Kolkata side with Semboi Haokip (80') and Daniel Chima (90', 90+2' penalty) also getting into the scoresheet. However, goals from Hector Rodas (33', 40'), Javi Hernandez (45'), Aridai Suarez (71', 90+4') and Isak Vanlalruatfela (82') mean SCEB are still winless while Odisha equal ATK Mohun Bagan with six points on top of the table.
It took under thirteen minutes for the floodgates to open. SCEB started proceedings through a trademark long throw-in from veteran Raju Gaikwad. A mistimed clearance from the Odisha defence saw the ball put in space for Sidoel, who smashed it into the top-right corner of the net.
Odisha had the chance to equalise soon with Nandhakumar Sekar shooting wide. However, amends were made by defender Hector Rodas. The former Levante man first nodded home a long freekick delivered from Javi before a corner from the same player was headed into the net by Rodas who left Raju Gaikwad for dead inside the box, making it 2-1.
A few moments later, Javi, the former ATK Mohun Bagan man scored a high-quality Olympico, curling the ball direct into the net from a corner kick each.
Javi was substituted at half-time, ostensibly rested, while Aridai and Jonathas were introduced with Victor Mongil also making way.
There was a triple change for the Kolkata side at the hour mark too. Chima, Mrcela and Amarjit were brought in, shuffling in fresh legs.
The second half chaos began with Aridai's superb freekick, curling past Suvam Sen to make it 4-1. With Odisha looking in command, Semboi Haokip nodded in a superb header from a ball in from Mohammed Rafique. Isak then made it 5-2, running onto Isaac's through ball and lashing past Suvam.
Chima then got onto the act, his first goal coming from chaos in the Odisha penalty area following a corner, a shot at the near post making it 5-3. A blunder in the box then handed Chima a penalty which he duly converted. With three minutes to go, it was 5-4, but Odisha killed the game off with a superb counter - Isak's ball moved onto Aridai's path by a clever Jonathas flick. Aridai smashed it first time into the roof of the net, an emphatic finish to a very fun match.