AFC Cup | Odisha FC beat Maldives’ Maziya 3-2 after being two-goal down

Roy Krishna scored Odisha’s third goal. Photo: X(formerly Twitter)/@OdishaFC

Roy Krishna scored Odisha’s third goal. Photo: X(formerly Twitter)/@OdishaFC

Indian Super League side Odisha FC came back from a two-goal deficit to defeat Maziya Sports & Recreation of Maldives 3-2 in a Group D away match of the AFC Cup here on Tuesday.

The win kept Odisha’s hopes of advancing to the Inter-Zone semifinals of the AFC Cup (the continent’s second tier club competition) alive while the defeat leaves Maziya on the ropes.

Maziya took the lead in the second minute, following a fine team move with Aisam dribbling his way into the Odisha box before laying off for Naiz Hassan, who scored with a simple finish.

Odisha, who defeated Maziya 6-1 in the home fixture, came close to scoring in the seventh minute when Lalthathanga Khawlhring burst into the area before setting up Cy Goddard, who sent his shot wide.

Odisha’s Roy Krishna then saw his effort blocked in the 12th minute.

The Indian side, however, suffered another jolt in the 25th minute when they conceded a penalty following Mourtada Fall’s tackle on Vojislav Balabanovic, who coolly converted from the spot.

Maziya dominated the rest of the half and came close to scoring again in the 42nd minute when Balabanovic set up Hamza Mohamed, whose shot forced a save from Odisha keeper Amrinder Singh.

Odisha came back fighting in the second half. They reduced the margin in the 65th minute off a corner kick with Mourtada Fall nodding home Ahmed Jahouh cross.

The goal spurred Odisha further as they levelled the tie in the 72nd minute with Jahouh sending a fine cross for Diego Maurício to head home from inside the six-yard-box.

Odisha completed the comeback in the 85th minute with Krishna netting the winning goal.

Odisha face another Indian side Mohun Bagan on November 27 in Kolkata, while Maziya meet Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings on the same day in Dhaka.

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