AFC Cup – Mohun Bagan assert their dominance as they put 4 past 10-men Odisha


In a scintillating AFC Cup encounter in Bhubaneswar, Mohun Bagan Super Giant commenced their campaign with a resounding 4-0 victory over Odisha FC. The scoreline was fueled by Dimitri’s brilliance, who netted twice, along with contributions from Liston and Sahal as well as a sending-off given to Odisha FC’s Serigne Fall in the first half.

The Mariners, basking in the glory of their ISL triumph from the previous season, were forced to take the long route to the group stages, battling through the playoffs. Their path to this pivotal encounter saw them vanquish Machhindra and dismiss Dhaka Abahani with aplomb.

The setting for this enthralling showdown was the iconic Kalinga Stadium, where the stage was set for a remarkable display of football prowess. Odisha FC and Mohun Bagan slotted into Group D of the AFC Cup alongside Basundhara Kings of Bangladesh and Maziya of Maldives, were prepared to stake their claim on the continental stage.

For Odisha FC, this marked their inaugural foray into the realm of continental football—a historic moment for the club. In contrast, the Mariners were seasoned campaigners in this prestigious tournament, entering their 7th appearance at the AFC Cup group stages.

AFC Cup - Mohun Bagan assert their dominance as they put 4 past 10-men Odisha WhatsApp Image 2023 09 19 at 11.03.47 PM

The game began with a sedate start as both teams struggled to maintain possession. Mohun Bagan, however, quickly found their rhythm and started dictating the play. Subhashish initiated the attack, shifting the line of play from right to left, with Petratos delivering a lofted ball. Odisha’s Amrinder dealt with it comfortably.

The first attempt of the game came from Manvir in the 7th minute. His shot from an awkward position inside the box lacked the venom to test Amrinder, resulting in a clean save.

A pivotal moment arrived in the 10th minute when Abdul Samad was fouled by a rash tackle from Fall, earning Odisha’s first yellow card of the match. This foreshadowed more trouble for the Juggernauts later in the game.

Mohun Bagan continued to apply pressure, with Boumous and Samad combining effectively near the box in the 24th minute. Boumous’s quick throw-in led to a scramble inside the Odisha box, culminating in a corner for Mohun Bagan.

AFC Cup - Mohun Bagan assert their dominance as they put 4 past 10-men Odisha WhatsApp Image 2023 09 19 at 11.01.46 PM

However, the defining moment of the first half arrived in the 43rd minute. Boumous was brought down by Fall, who was already on a yellow card. Fall’s vehement protests led to his second yellow card, and he was subsequently sent off, leaving Odisha with a mountain to climb. Fall’s departure was a monumental setback for the Juggernauts, and the mood in their camp grew increasingly somber.

As the half-time whistle blew, the game remained goalless on the scoreboard. Yet, the Mariners held a crucial advantage, with Odisha down to 10 men. It set the stage for a fascinating second half, with the Mariners determined to exploit their numerical superiority.

Mohun Bagan began the second half with a bang, showcasing their intent to capitalize on the man advantage. Quick passing sequences culminated in a sensational goal by Sahal, who found the top right corner with precision, leaving Amrinder with no chance to save.

Odisha’s woes continued in the 55th minute when a goal by Hamill was disallowed for offside. The linesman’s flag denied Odisha a lifeline, keeping them at bay.

Dimitri, the star of the evening, came into his own in the 68th minute. Sahal’s long-range effort was initially thwarted by Amrinder, but Dimitri pounced on the rebound to double Mohun Bagan’s lead. The Odisha defense found themselves unable to contain Dimitri’s predatory instincts.

AFC Cup - Mohun Bagan assert their dominance as they put 4 past 10-men Odisha petratos thighfigh 1695137440

In the 79th minute, the Mariners further solidified their dominance. Liston, fresh off the bench, capitalized on a superb Manvir cross to head the ball past Amrinder. Manvir notched his second assist of the night, putting the result beyond doubt.

The pièce de résistance arrived in the 82nd minute. Dimitri showcased his finesse by chipping the ball past Amrinder in style, securing his brace, and capping off an exceptional individual performance.

As the clock wound down, Mohun Bagan continued to assert their superiority, maintaining possession and denying Odisha any opportunity to mount a comeback. The referee’s final whistle brought an end to Odisha’s suffering and sealed a resounding victory for Juan Ferrando’s men.

In retrospect, it was a match characterized by Mohun Bagan’s relentless dominance, showcased through brilliant teamwork and individual brilliance. Dimitri, with his brace, will undoubtedly be the talk of the town after a performance that exemplified his striking prowess. This comprehensive win serves as a testament to Mohun Bagan’s capabilities and puts them in a formidable position in their campaign.

Both teams begin their ISL campaigns on 23rd September but it is exciting to anticipate what is next for the two ISL clubs in their AFC Cup campaigns as Mohun Bagan takes on Maziya and Odisha FC goes against Basundhara Kings in the next round of the AFC Cup group stages.

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