ISL 23-24 Recap – Odisha FC’s rise to prominence!

The Indian Super League 2023-24 season has drawn to a close, leaving behind a series of thrilling matches and remarkable performances.

As the dust settles on the tournament, attention turns to reflecting on the journey of Odisha FC’s remarkable rise to prominence this season.

At the beginning of the tournament, the club from Odisha was stated as the underdogs of the tournament with just one playoff entry in their history. With time, fortunes were turned and statements started changing, banking on the “Never give up” attitude of the squad.

The Kalinga Warriors have made their second successful entry into the playoffs and first-ever semifinal of the Indian Super League in the ongoing season. They remained in fourth place in the points table with 39 points from 22 matches with 11 wins, 6 draws, and just 5 losses.

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It), here is a small walkthrough of how the club has performed this #ISL season:


In a historic feat, Odisha FC has secured their first-ever qualification for the semifinals in the 2023-24 ISL season. This remarkable achievement marks a significant milestone for the club, especially considering their bottom-of-the-table finish in the 2020-21 season.

The Kalinga Warriors’ remarkable ascent in Indian football defies the odds and signals a promising future ahead.


There are several clubs with huge fan bases in the league, but none managed to remain unbeaten at their home ground. Odisha FC’s fans never had to face the heartbreak on their home turf in this ISL season.

During the league stage, the Kalinga Warriors played 11 matches at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and gained 27 points. While eight of the matches ended with a win, in three of them, the opponents managed a draw against the home team. Furthermore, they went on to keep the record intact with a 2-1 comeback win against Kerala Blasters FC in Knockout 1.

In the knockout match against Kerala Blasters FC, Odisha FC orchestrated a stunning 2-1 comeback victory at Kalinga Stadium. Continuing their formidable form, they hosted Mohun Bagan Super Giant for the first leg of the ISL Semifinal 1. Once again, Odisha FC upheld their unbeaten home record, clinching a 2-1 triumph over Mohun Bagan Super Giant at the Kalinga Stadium.


What’s the funda of keeping your opponent silent in the matches for a longer period? If you don’t have an answer to it then ask the boys of Odisha FC. Under the sheer guidance of the maestro Sergio Lobera, Odisha remained unbeaten for 13 matches in the top football league of India.

Odisha FC started their ISL 2023-24 journey slowly, picking up just four points in their opening four games. On a rainy evening of 23rd September 2023, the Kalinga Warriors kicked off their season at home against Chennaiyin FC and delighted their passionate fans with a 2-0 victory.

However, they struggled to maintain the momentum, playing out a draw against Mumbai at Kalinga Stadium and then suffering a close 3-2 defeat to FC Goa. This disappointing run continued with a 2-1 loss to Kerala Blasters.

Showing their resilience, the club turned things around with a 3-2 win against Bengaluru FC on 31st October 2023, and the winning streak continued until their match against Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, where they, unfortunately, lost 2-1, bringing an end to their impressive 13-match unbeaten streak, which included eight wins and five draws.


Who would have thought, the club, once stated as the underdogs would be the first to outclass every team to cement their spot in the playoffs? Undoubtedly the performances of the players were the key to such success.

It was the match against the archrivals from Kolkata, the East Bengals FC, whose last meeting with the Kalinga Warriors was a disheartening loss for fans of Odisha, who witnessed their team ending up as the runners-up at the Kalinga Super Cup 2024.


“Are you competing for the playoffs? No for the ISL Shield.” That was the statement of every player, management, and the fans of Odisha FC. Although Odisha missed it with just a whisker, they had their dream run at the top of the table for almost two months.

With a win against Kerala Blasters FC on February 2, 2024, the Kalinga Warriors climbed to the top of the points table and silenced their critics who once thought this team would just compete for a place in the playoffs.


The performances of Odisha FC’s players are an understatement if you don’t find a name in the list of top performers of the season. Whether it’s scoring goals, providing assists, creating chances, clean sheets, or saves by the goalkeeper, there is a name in every top-five performer.

Roy Krishna has scored 13 goals in the ISL season, which is the joint-highest by any player in the league. He has been well supported by Diego Mauricio at the front end with 11 goals to his name.

Amey Ranawade has been on the list of assist providers. He has successfully helped his team to convert the chances on 6 different occasions. Along with 69 saves, the skipper Amrinder has 9 clean sheets, the most in this season.

Talking about the performances, a name will always hinder when we look at the midfield. With 1367 successful passes, Ahmed Jahouh has been a wizard for the team with his experience and tactical approaches towards the game. He has also created more than 47 chances for the team, throughout the tournament.

Moreover, Diego remains the top scorer for the Kalinga Warriors with 17 goals in the season. Including 11 in the ISL, he has found the net thrice during the AFC Cup and Super Cup respectively. He is closely followed by the other prominent striker of Odisha, Roy Krishna who has scored 15 goals in the season, including two in the AFC Cup.


Odisha FC’s journey in the Indian Super League 2023-24 season culminated in the semi-finals, where they bowed out after a hard-fought battle against Mohun Bagan Super Giant. Despite a spirited effort, they fell short with a 2-0 defeat in the second leg at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, resulting in a 3-2 aggregate loss.

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