Saul Crespo and Jerry Mawihmingthanga found the net for the juggernauts!

Odisha FC (OFC) became the second team to make it to the quarter-finals of the Durand Cup 2022, after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sudeva Delhi FC (Sudeva) in a Group D game here at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium. Spaniard Saul Crespo scored a brace while Jerry got the third, to hand the Juggernauts a third successive win in the tournament. All the goals came in the first half.

Both Saul and Jerry have also scored three times now for Josep Gombau’s side who have scored 11 goals without return in their three group games so far. They take on Army Green in their final group game.

For Sudeva perhaps it was a gulf too big to bridge at this stage of the tournament and despite a spirited performance, especially in the first 30 minutes, they ended up the second-best side on the day by a distance and could not avoid a first loss in this year’s tournament. They can still go through however if they win big against NorthEast United in their last group game of the fixture.

Odisha FC kill the game in the first half

The Juggernauts practically killed the game with three first-half goals and it was more the manner in which they got them that perhaps did more damage. It began well though for Sudeva Delhi and they were matching Odisha FC in attack in the first quarter of an hour.

The opening for OFC came in the 19th minute when off a Sahil Panwar corner, Crespo rose to head in despite having markers on the job. OFC had begun to take control.

In the 39th minute, a delightful ball from Raynier Fernandes found Crespo again, but this time he had more to do. He took a few steps forward to shrug off his marker, bent his knees slightly to attack the header low and deflected it from the near post, across the keeper into the far post. It was finishing of the highest quality.

A minute later Nandha Kumar Sekar struck from distance and given that the shot went through a maze of feet, perhaps unsighted Sudeva keeper Kabir Kohli who reacted a tad late to block the shot. The rebound however fell too kindly for Jerry, to miss getting his third of the tournament.

Job done, Odisha FC did sit back a little in the second half and that meant that Sudeva Delhi kept trying and perhaps also ended the better of the two sides in the second 45. However, OFC were well in control of the game and closed out for a third successive clean-sheet as well.

Sudeva Delhi is back on September 02, 2022, at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati to play their final group game against the point-less NorthEast United while Odisha FC round up their group engagements against the Army Green Football Team at the same venue on September 04, 2022.

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