Panaji, November 30: SC East Bengal were beaten 6-4 by Odisha FC amid a flurry of goals at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco.
Hector Rodas and Aridai Suarez looked to be in fine form, both scoring a brace for Odisha FC, with the other two goals coming at the feet of Javi Hernandez and Isak Vanlalruatfela. Chima Chukwu scored two goals for SC East Bengal in the space of just five minutes, though it was too little, too late. Daniel Sidoel and Semboi Haokip were the other scorers for the away team.
SC East Bengal started the game on a bright note, scoring the first goal of the match. A long-throw by Raju Gaikwad, which was cleared of immediate danger by the Odisha FC defence, fell to Sidoel, who side-footed it to perfection into the top-right corner.
The Red-and-Gold brigade looked to be in control of the match, before their early momentum was disrupted by dead-ball specialist Javi Hernandez. His first free-kick from well outside the box found an unmarked Hector Rodas, who calmly slotted the ball past Suvam Sen. Seven minutes later, a Hernandez corner found the head of Rodas again, who skipped past his marker Raju Gaikwad to score again. At the brink of half-time, another Hernandez corner found its way straight into the net, beating all.
Striker Aridai Suarez was introduced at half time in place of Hernandez, and he repaid the faith of Odisha coach Francisco Ramirez by scoring from a free-kick just outside the box.
The game looked done and dusted at 4-1, but an opportunistic header from substitute Haokip lit a small spark of joy for SCEB. Odisha were not to be pegged down by the setback and responded two minutes later, with young Isak Vanlalruatfela scoring from a thunderous volley.
When the game looked all but over, striker Chima Chukwu came off the bench to instil some hope in the SCEB camp. scoring one goal from a low shot which took Kamaljit Singh by surprise. The Nigerian forward was fouled inside the box three minutes later, at the stroke of the 90th minute. Chima calmly converted the spot-kick to make it 5-4.
SCEB pressed desperately for the equalizer deep into stoppage time, but Odisha FC put the match squarely out of reach when Jonathan’s back-heel was finished first time by Aridai Suarez.
With the win, Odisha FC move up to second place in the league, while SC East Bengal remain at tenth.