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Kalinga Super Cup

Road to glory: Looking back at Odisha FC's first Super Cup triumph

Published at :January 8, 2024 at 9:21 PM
Modified at :February 1, 2024 at 11:15 AM
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Gourav Samal

Diego Mauricio scored five goals for the Kalinga Warriors in that competition.

The 2024 Kalinga Super Cup, which happens to be the fourth edition of the Super Cup, is a tournament held in India. Following its inauguration in 2018, the tournament continued with subsequent editions in 2019 and 2023.

In 2023, Odisha FC secured the championship title by defeating Bengaluru FC. Prior to that, Bengaluru FC and FC Goa clinched the coveted trophy in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The 2024 edition is taking place at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, which also serves as the home ground of Odisha FC.

In this article, we take a look at Odisha FC’s performance in the previous season and assess their prospects in the upcoming edition.

Performance of Odisha FC in 2023

Group Stage 

Odisha FC was placed in Group B of 2023 Super Cup alongside Hyderabad FC, East Bengal FC and Aizawl FC.

Odisha FC vs East Bengal (1-1)

The first match of the league for Odisha FC concluded with a 1-1 draw. East Bengal secured an early lead in the match with a goal by Mobashir Rahman in the 38th minute. However, the Juggernauts countered with a goal by Nandhakumar Sekar in the 73rd minute, ultimately equalizing the score. 

Odisha FC vs Aizawl FC (3-0)

Odisha’s next fixture pitted them against Aizawl FC. They secured a commanding victory over the I-League club, scoring three goals in reply to none. Diego Mauricio, Victor Rodriguez and Nandhakumar Sekar each contributed a goal during the match.

Odisha FC vs Hyderabad FC (2-1)

In the concluding group stage encounter, Odisha FC emerged victorious over Hyderabad FC with a score of 2-1, thus securing their place in the semi-final round. Diego Mauricio and Victor Rodriguez found the net for Odisha, answering Javier Siverio’s single goal for Hyderabad FC.

Semi-Final: Odisha FC vs NorthEast United FC (3-1)

In the semi-final match, Odisha secured a 3-1 victory over NorthEast United, thus securing a spot in the final of the 2023 Super Cup.

Nandhakumar Sekar netted two goals and Diego Mauricio added one more for Odisha FC, while Wilmar Jordan Gil scored the sole goal for NorthEast United.

Final: Odisha FC vs Bengaluru FC (2-1)

In the final Odisha FC faced Bengaluru FC who had already won the inaugural edition of the tournament. 

The underdogs persevered until the end and secured a 2-1 victory over the former champions in the 2023 Super Cup. Diego Mauricio netted both goals for Odisha, while Sunil Chhetri’s lone goal for BFC raised hopes for his team, only to be overshadowed by the Kalinga warriors.

Star performers for Odisha FC

Diego Mauricio 

Mauricio emerged as the standout performer for the Odisha side throughout the tournament. Not only did he deliver captivating assists, but he also found the back of the net on five occasions across five matches, while also contributing two assists. Remarkably, he managed to score in every game except the first one.

Nandhakumar Sekar

The other player who was instrumental in Odisha FC’s victory was Nandhakumar Sekar, having scored four goals in five matches. His most significant goal was scored against East Bengal, ultimately leading his team to a draw in the match.

A road towards another championship

The 2023 Super Cup marks Odisha FC’s first major championship victory in its history. The team will also look to maintain its stellar performance in the 2024 edition. 

Given the exceptional form of their players in the current season and the added advantage of playing on home turf, they pose a significant threat to visiting teams.

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