Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Sports Odisha were downed by Odisha FC, 0-4, in their second match of their IWL 2023-24 campaign at the Capital Football Arena in Bhubaneswar on Friday. 

The Odisha derby that unfolded with both teams playing at home, saw a young Sports Odisha squad put on an admirable performance against a very experienced Odisha FC unit. Following the day’s result Sports Odisha are yet to register points in their campaign while Odisha FC secured their first three points of the season. 

In the first half, Sports Odisha conceded an early goal, when Odisha FC captain Manisa Panna (8’) headed a corner into the back of net in the eighth minute. While the rest of the half was goalless, Sports Odisha managed three shots on goal but failed to find the equalizer. Despite covering a lot of ground, ball retention was a challenge for the girls in red, with Odisha FC dominating possession. 

As the second half unfolded, Sports Odisha were resilient in their defense, but were eventually penetrated by yet another corner, successfully converted by Win Theingi Tun (56’). Minutes after, Win Theingi Tun (57’) scored again to make it 0-3. In the dying embers of the match, Malati Munda (86’) helped Odisha FC find their fourth goal of the day. 

Despite the loss, the lessons learned against a formidable Odisha FC squad augurs well for Sports Odisha’s young team. They will be eager to bounce back on 16th December when they take on Kickstart FC in their first away encounter of the season.