AFC Cup: Odisha FC Pound Maziya 6-1; Maintain Knockout Stage Aspirations

Super Cup champions Odisha FC revived their AFC Cup campaign with a resounding 6-1 victory over Maziya Sports & Recreation of Maldives at the Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday. After defeats against Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Bashundhara Kings, Odisha finally obtained points on the board in Group D, keeping their hopes of advancement to the knockout stage alive. It was a flurry of action from the beginning with Odisha needing only three minutes to seize the lead when Lalthathanga Khawlhring scored on the half-turn, following Mourtada Fall’s triumph in a header from a corner kick.

Maziya, however, surprised their hosts in the 13th minute from a corner kick of their own. Branimir Jocic met Hamza Mohamed’s delivery with a looping header that caught Odisha custodian Amrinder Singh off balance.

The equality lasted just two minutes as Odisha regained the lead with Carlos Delgado executing an astonishing header to guide the ball past Hussain Shareef from an Ahmed Jahouh free-kick.

The Kalinga Warriors proceeded to expand their lead in the 19th minute when Delgado became a provider, setting up Fall for another header.

After a frantic start to the game, the match entered a more tranquil period and it was only after half-time that the intensity picked up once again.

Maziya came close to reducing the deficit in the 48th minute when the dangerous Hamza created space by cutting in from the left but his shot aimed at the goal was pushed out by Amrinder.

Instead, it was the home side who would score again 10 minutes later, with Maziya’s failure to deal with yet another corner set-piece allowing Amey Ranawade to score through a magnificent long-range curler into the bottom corner.

Isak Vanlalruatfela made it 5-1 in the 62nd minute, finishing from close range after Diego Mauricio had beaten the offside trap to pass the ball to his teammate. Sahil Panwar scored the sixth goal in added time (90+5th) to cap off the resounding triumph.

The two teams will meet again on November 7.

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