Odisha FC have had a poor start to the season, having secured just one point from six games. NorthEast United have been the surprise package this season, having managed 10 points from seven games.
NorthEast United FC and Odisha FC came into the game on the back of defeats in their previous games. Both teams wanted to win desperately and get back on track.
The two teams played end-to-end football and tried to break the deadlock in the first few minutes. Odisha FC took the lead in the 23rd minute. NorthEast United equalized just before the half-time break to make it 1-1.
The Highlanders took the lead in the 65th minute through a Kwesi Appiah penalty, only to see Odisha equalize, courtesy of a Cole Alexander curler two minutes later.
NorthEast United FC fail to capitalize on their chances
NorthEast United created a host of chances throughout the game but failed to convert them. They had a total of 20 shots and managed to put only six on target. Federico Gallego was the central lynchpin in the midfield. The Uruguayan midfielder created numerous chances, but the likes of Kwesi Appiah, Idrissa Sylla, and Britto PM failed to convert them.
Odisha's goalkeeper Arshdeep deserves credit for foiling some of NorthEast United's attacks. The former Minerva goalkeeper made some excellent reflex saves to deny the Highlanders three points from the game.
The penalty comes to the rescue for NorthEast United FC
This season, NorthEast United have got the highest number of penalties so far, which is five after today's game. The Highlanders have converted three and missed two.
NorthEast United have been dependent on penalties in a lot of their crucial games this season. The Highlanders will hope to find other avenues to win games and not just rely on penalties in essential encounters.
Results don't justify Odisha's performance this season
Sometimes the result doesn't do justice to the brand of football a team plays. Odisha FC have been a victim of this. While they moved to 10th in the table after today's result, they are yet to secure a victory this season. Odisha are now one of the three teams who are yet to taste victory in ISL 2020-21.
Odisha FC have played a good brand of football so far. However, the minor mistakes and lapses in concentration have been the reason why they have dropped points throughout the season.
NorthEast United FC yet to find their best eleven
Gerard Nus has been vocal about the selection headache he has. His substitutes and main team players have exceeded expectations so far. The young Spanish coach has fielded a different set of eleven in each game he has played so far. The only logical explanation regarding this is that he is yet to figure out his best eleven.
Today, Nus relegated Khassa Camara to the bench. The French-Mauritanian central defensive midfielder has been in a rich vein of form this season. Thus it came as a surprise seeing him on the bench.
Apart from the defensive line-up, NorthEast United have chopped and changed their midfield and strike line-up in every game. Whatever is the reason for this constant change, it has been hurting NorthEast United FC upfront.Published 23 Dec 2020, 00:44 IST