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2020-21 Indian Super League, Regular Season
  • Diego Maurício (22')
  • Cole Alexander (67')
  • Benjamin Lambot (45'+2')
  • Kwesi Appiah (65' PEN)

ISL 2020-21: Odisha FC remain winless after entertaining draw with NorthEast United FC

Benjamin Lambot rises high to score for NorthEast United against Odisha FC. Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for ISL

Odisha FC took the lead, then saw NorthEast United take it, before clawing it back late on, drawing 2-2 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim.

Odisha took the lead through Diego Mauricio (26') before Benjamin Lambot (45+1') drew parity. Kwesi Appiah (65') then converted a penalty to put NEUFC ahead but soon saw his goal canceled out by Cole Alexander (67').

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Odisha named an unchanged eleven from the side that lost to Bengaluru FC while NorthEast coach Gerard Nus rang in four changes with the most notable the return to the starting XI of key playmaker Federico Gallego.

The first half was an end-to-end affair with both sides heading into the break level after creating plenty of chances. The first big chance of the game arrived during the 10th minute -- Gallego picked up Kwesi Appiah with a long ball, and the latter made space for himself between two markers but saw his shot blocked by Arshdeep.

The first half was an end-to-end affair with both sides heading into the break level after creating plenty of chances. The first big chance of the game arrived during the 10th minute -- Gallego picked up Kwesi Appiah with a long ball, and the latter made space for himself between two markers but saw his shot blocked by Arshdeep.

But the Brazilian redeemed himself with a wonder-strike to hand his side the lead. Mauricio, receiving the ball just outside the box, cut inside before drilling a low shot that trickled into the back of the net. The ball went in following a light deflection off Lalengmawia, leaving the keeper with no chance.

NEUFC piled on the pressure after conceding and missed three quick fire chances from set pieces. However, a lapse in concentration from Odisha in stoppage time saw them concede. Lambot made a run at the far post and picked up Ashutosh Mehra's cross before heading home.

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Nus' side began the second half from where they left off and deservedly took the lead. They won a penalty after Arshdeep was adjudged to have tripped Appiah in the box. The Ghanaian stepped up to take the spot-kick and struck it forcefully to notch his third ISL goal.

Their lead did not last long as Alexander equalised for Odisha with a stunning curler from just inside the box.

NEUFC nearly scored the winner in the dying minutes but substitute Khassa Camara's long-range strike missed the crossbar by inches.

Odisha rise to second from bottom (above SC East Bengal on goal difference) while NorthEast United remain fourth, a point behind Bengaluru FC. Both sides now have fixtures only in the New Year, NorthEast face ATK Mohun Bagan on Jan 3, Odisha play East Bengal earlier that same day.