Nandhakumar Sekar struck a brilliant goal in stoppage time to hand Odisha FC a thrilling 3-2 victory against Chennaiyin FC in a Indian Super League 2022-23 match at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
Besides an own goal from Vafa Hakhamaneshi (31st minute), Diego Mauricio (49′) and Sekar (90+5′) were on the scoresheet for the hosts, whereas Abdenasser El Khayati (60′,90+2′) scored a brace for Chennaiyin FC.
Coming into the second half with a 1-0 lead, Odisha took just four minutes to double the scores when Diego Mauricio successfully scored via a penalty kick.
However, 11 minutes later, substitute player El Khayati opened the scoring for Chennaiyin FC as the in-form Dutch playmaker cleverly converted a pass from Petar Sliskovic for his third ISL goal in as many games.
When Chennaiyin FC were looking for an equaliser, they were awarded a penalty in stoppage time after Hakhamaneshi was brought down inside the opposition box. El Khayati got into the act beautifully and made no mistake while hitting home a fluent equaliser.
But the celebrations did not last long for the visitors as things took a dramatic turn when Sekar put the hosts in the driver’s seat once again within just three minutes by producing the winner with an exquisite finish.
Earlier, Odisha FC began pressing straight away after the referee blew the whistle and put Chennaiyin FC defenders under pressure, creating several goal-scoring opportunities and Josep Gombau’s men were rewarded for their relentless attack when a Raynier Fernandes header deflected into the net off Chennaiyin FC defender Vafa Hakhamaneshi, leaving goalkeeper Debjit Majumder with no chance.
With this victory, Odisha FC maintained their unbeaten run at home in the ongoing season and jumped to the third position on the points table with 15 points from seven matches.
On the other hand, it was the first away loss for Thomas Brdaric’s men, who will now return home to face Hyderabad FC on December 3.