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AFC Cup: Odisha FC down Mohun Bagan in goal fest

November 27, 2023 23:57 IST
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Odisha FC's Roy Krishna celebrates his 29th-minute equaliser

IMAGE: Odisha FC's Roy Krishna celebrates his 29th-minute equaliser. Photograph: Odisha FC/X

Fans of Mohun Bagan FC were left crestfallen after a dominant Odisha FC humiliated reigning ISL champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant 5-2 in their high-scoring penultimate Group D clash of the AFC Cup in Kolkata on Monday.

The seasoned Hugo Boumous propelled Mohun Bagan into lead with his 17th-minute strike at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Roy Krishna found the equaliser in the 29th minute and Diego Mauricio silenced the home crowd by putting Odisha FC ahead with his 32nd-minute goal. The visiting OFC scored two goals in a span of three minutes.


More misery awaited Mohun Bagan as Cy Goddard made it 3-1 in favour of OFC by finding the back of the net in the 41st minute, leaving the fans wearing the green-and-maroon jersey at the Salt Lake Stadium shocked.

The hosts sought a way back into the game after the interval and came close as the hour approached, Liston Colaco's free-kick from 30 yards hitting the top of the OFC crossbar on the way over.

But it was game on in the 63rd minute as Bagan pulled one back when substitute Kiyan Nassiri rose highest in the middle to head Boumous's cross from the left into the back of the net.

Kiyan heading the ball into the OFC net reduced the margin for Mohun Bagan, raising hopes of a comeback.

Sahal Samad clipped the top of the bar with a bouncing effort soon after as the noise reverberated around the stadium with the home supporters sensing an equaliser as their side cranked up the pressure.

One-way traffic ensued and a jinking run through the Odisha defence from Kiyan then gave him another goal-scoring opportunity with 15 minutes to play, but this time his powerful effort from inside the box hit the side netting.

The visitors had a chance against the run of play as the game entered its final five minutes but Gahlot at the back post was off target after getting on the end of Jahouh's dangerous free-kick from the left.

However, Mohun Bagan failed to draw parity this time.

Instead, when one thought that OFC would be content to hold on to their one-goal cushion, they fired in two more goals in the injury time to complete the humiliation.

Aniket Jadhav's (90+2) left-footed shot from very close range found its target after an assist by Roy Krishna following a set-piece situation.

OFC were not done there as Isak Vanlalruatfela's right-footed shot from outside the box went in after Carlos Delgado did the spadework.

The goal-feast left Mohun Bagan Super Giant third in the points table and Sergio Lobera's team above MBSG.

Thanks to the famous win, Odisha moved within a point of table-toppers Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh, who they host on Matchday Six on December 11.

OFC thus avenged their loss to Mohun Bagan in their first-leg match at Bhubaneswar where they were blanked 0-4 in September.

Caught off guard on a few occasions during counter attacks in the first half, Mohun Bagan were taken apart in the final stages of the game, conceding twice in the added time.

What must have added to Bagan's woes is that they were missing four key players from their first-team squad, who have been ruled out with injuries.

Dimitri Petratos, Anwar Ali, Manvir Singh and Ashique Kuruniyan could only watch the match from the sidelines as their team suffered an embarrassing defeat.

Odisha will next host Bashundhara, needing a win to advance to the knockout rounds while Mohun Bagan will travel to the Maldives to take on Maziya Sports & Recreation.

AFC Cup tie moved to neutral venue after Australia denies Myanmar club visas

An AFC Cup tie between Australia's Macarthur FC and Shan United of Myanmar has been moved from Sydney to a neutral venue in Bangkok after the Australian government refused to grant visas to the visiting players, Football Australia (FA) said on Monday.

Macarthur, an A-League club based in the Sydney suburb of Campbelltown, were criticised by human rights groups for playing an away match against Shan United in Yangon in late September.

The return fixture will now be played at Bangkok's BG Stadium on Thursday.

"This move to a neutral venue follows the Australian government declining to grant Australian visas for Shan United FC players and officials, meaning there was no viable way of playing the game on Australian soil," the FA said in a statement.

Myanmar has been embroiled in bloody conflict since the country's military took power in a coup against the elected government in 2021.

A recent surge in fighting between the military and ethnic minority insurgents as well as pro-democracy militias has displaced tens of thousands of people.

The Australian government currently advises against travel to Myanmar "due to the dangerous security situation".

Visas to enter Australia are granted or refused on a case-by-case basis.

Macarthur would have had to forfeit their place in the second-tier continental club competition if they had failed to fulfil the fixture in Myanmar or been unable to stage the return match.

"Football Australia would like to thank the (Asian Football Confederation) for their approval of these alternative arrangements," the FA statement added.

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