ISL 2022-23: OFC 2-2 CFC: Odisha FC return to top 6 as Chennaiyin FC chase for points continues Live Sports News

ISL 2022-23: OFC 2-2 CFC: Odisha FC return to top 6 as Chennaiyin FC chase for points continues

The draw lifted Odisha FC to sixth place, now one point ahead of Bengaluru FC, while Chennaiyin FC are now five points behind them in eighth.

Chennaiyin FC started the game on the front foot, challenging Odisha FC with high pressing. After a period of minor threats, they finally found space on the right from where Anirudh Thapa found Vincy Barretto’s diving header on 19 minutes. But Amrinder Singh made the first of his three big saves in the game, stretching to his left to swing him wide.

But it was Odisha FC who broke the deadlock in what turned into a spirited first half. In the 24th minute, Chennaiyin FC’s badly kicked long ball from the back was intercepted by the Odisha FC high line, and with two touches they found Diego Mauricio in the box via the ball deep from Isak Ralt. The striker made no mistake about it, striking powerfully with his left foot on the run to find the goal at the near post.

But Thapa was on hand to find an equalizer the next minute. Odisha FC were caught off guard, allowing Thapa to run between the defenders as Aakash Sangwan found him with a perfect cross from the left flank that headed in from close range.

OFC’s Isak Vanlalruatfela celebrates his goal at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Image: ISL

In the dying minutes of the first half, Peter Sliskovic and Abdenasser El Khayati threatened to score, the latter being denied on a long shot from Amrinder. But once again it was Odisha FC who took the lead within minutes of the start of the second half.

This time, it was Chennaiyin FC’s defense that didn’t pay attention to a run into the box. Nandhakumar Sekar had time on the right flank to place a low cross as Isak slipped into the penalty area to send the ball into the net.

But Chennaiyin FC took control of the game from there. In the 56th minute, they found a new equalizer thanks to El Khayati. Barreto’s run down the left appeared to have ended in a weak cross but the ball bounced off the winger’s path – he lobbed it in to find El Khayati in front of goal, who took a calm touch before to place his shot to beat Amrinder.

Amrinder put his body on the line in the 67th minute to deny substitute Kwame Karikari from close range, and El Khayati nearly landed a Goal of the Season contender when he curled a long-range shot with a short backlift only to find the post. It was their last substantial chance to win the match.

The result, Chennaiyn FC’s seventh game without a win, means they cannot afford to drop points in their last four games if they are to stay in playoff contention. They will next face Kerala Blasters on February 7, while Odisha FC will return home to face FC Goa on February 6.

Key statistics:

– Amrinder faced 12 shots and made 6 saves

– It was the first time in four games that Odisha FC had less ball than their opponents

– Saul Crespo managed a passing accuracy of only 46%

ISL Media

ISL 2022-23: OFC 2-2 CFC: Odisha FC return to top 6 as Chennaiyin FC chase for points continues

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