ISL 2023/24 – Odisha Triumph Over Kerala Blasters in Extra Time

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Odisha FC secured their place in the semi-final of the ISL 2023-24 season with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Kerala Blasters FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. This historic win marks the Juggernauts’ first-ever triumph in an ISL playoffs match, propelling them into the semi-finals for the first time in the league’s history.

In the upcoming last-four clash, Odisha will face off against Mohun Bagan across two legs for a coveted spot in the ISL final. The enthralling encounter unfolded over 120 minutes, with the Juggernauts emerging victorious on their home turf despite initially trailing in the game. Lithuanian forward Fedor Cernych found the back of the net in the 67th minute, followed by crucial goals from Diego Mauricio and Isak Vanlalruatfela in the 87th and 97th minutes, respectively.

The Juggernauts Triumph Over Kerala Blasters in Extra Time to Secure Semi-Final Berth
Roy Krishna and M Drinčić of Odisha FC and Kerala Blasters FC fighting it out in the match

Although Kerala Blasters had numerous scoring opportunities leading up to Cernych’s strike, they failed to capitalize on their chances. Despite taking the lead in the game, the Yellow Army squandered several goal-scoring opportunities before Cernych’s breakthrough. As the match progressed, the Juggernauts began to push forward, leaving gaps in their defense for the Kochi-based team to exploit. Kerala Blasters capitalized on one such opportunity, initiating a swift counterattack with Mohammed Aimen delivering the ball for Cernych, who clinically finished to give the visitors the lead.

Odisha FC responded with two goals of their own, both orchestrated by Roy Krishna. The Fijian forward provided assists for both goals, delivering precise passes from the right side of the box. With long balls originating from near the midfield, Krishna adeptly collected and laid them off for Mauricio and Isak, who calmly slotted them home. In the 87th minute, Krishna burst behind the Kerala defense, setting up Mauricio for the equalizing goal. Ten minutes later, Isak replicated the feat from a similar position, sealing their progression in the tournament with a composed finish.

Roy Krishna was instrumental in the Juggernauts’ victory, contributing two assists during the intense 120-minute encounter. His exceptional performance included completing 21 out of 28 attempted passes, as well as executing three crosses and three tackles. Additionally, Krishna played a pivotal role in creating five goal-scoring opportunities for his team, showcasing his versatility and impact on the game.

Read More – ISL 2023/24 Matchweek 22 Review – Kerala Blasters defeat Northeast

The victory marks a significant milestone for the Juggernauts, as they continue their remarkable journey in the ISL this season. Their historic win over Ivan Vukomanovic’s side showcases the team’s resilience and determination to compete at the highest level. As they prepare to face Mohun Bagan in the semi-finals, Sergio Lobera’s men will look to build on their momentum and secure a place in the ISL final.

The Kalinga Stadium witnessed a memorable night of football, with Odisha FC etching their name into ISL history. The team’s fans erupted in jubilation as their beloved club took another step forward in their pursuit of ISL glory. With their semi-final berth secured, the team can now turn their attention to the upcoming challenge, fueled by the belief that they can go all the way and lift the ISL trophy.

The Juggernauts Triumph Over Kerala Blasters in Extra Time to Secure Semi-Final Berth
Isak Vanlalruatfela of Odisha FC celebrates after scoring a goal against Kerala Blasters FC

On the other hand, Kerala Blasters FC’s journey in the tournament has come to an end following their defeat against Odisha. Despite their efforts, they were unable to overcome their opponents and progress further in the competition. For all the noise, Ivan Vukomanovic has failed to get his hands on silverware, yet again. Nevertheless, Kerala Blasters FC can take pride in their performances throughout the season and look to regroup for future campaigns.

As the ISL playoffs unfold, anticipation builds as Odisha prepares to face Mohun Bagan in what promises to be a thrilling semi-final showdown. With the stakes higher than ever, both teams will leave no stone unturned in their quest for glory, setting the stage for an exhilarating clash of footballing prowess.


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Ishayu Gupta
Ishayu Gupta
Mohun Bagan, Madrid and more!

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