The side from Bhubaneswar are sixth in the table just a point shy of the play-offs spots.
Odisha FC celebrated its first game at their home in the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar with a 2-1 win over Jamshedpur FC. The Josep Gombau led side end this year on a very positive note as Aridane Santana struck twice in the first half to cancel out Aitor Monroy’s penalty in the 38th minute and give his side all three points after the loss to Goa a few days ago.
Manager Gombau was ecstatic that his side could finally play in the stadium they get to call home in the Kalinga Stadium. Prior to this, they had to play at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. He also thanked the fans who were a part of Odisha’s first game which ended up in a win here.
“It was very good to play today. It was our first game here and the grass may not have been in the best condition here. I think we played a good game regardless and it was a very equal game.”
The Spaniard mentioned that it was his forwards that decided the game and ran proceedings. “I think we solved the game because we have these quality players in front like Aridane. His second goal was just amazing. After that, it was a very open second half with a lot of situations that transitioned from one side to another side.”
Odisha conceded a penalty as Narayan Das failed to clear the ball properly and had to bring down Sumeet Passi with a clumsy challenge inside the box, from which Monroy made no mistake in tucking away. “I said to the player in the half-time that it was a mistake from us. The first ball, it was a 50-50 and we had two players around the ball and they failed to communicate with each other and ended up losing the ball and gave away the penalty. It was a mistake from our defence,” said Josep Gombau when asked to assess the penalty his side conceded.
When asked whether the side was over-dependent on Aridane for scoring goals, Josep Gombau replied, “It’s true that Aridane scored six goals in our team and Xisco has four. We brought him here because of his quality. Aridane is a player that not only scores goals, he also makes the team play better because he’s involved in a lot of the plays. He is very good in the air, he is our target man and we are really happy with him.”