Odisha FC eased to a 2-0 victory over NorthEast United at the Fatorda on Tuesday. The win takes OFC from ninth to fifth with only one point separating them from the fourth-placed Mumbai City FC. As for Khalid Jamil's team, their winless streak extends to five games as they sit in 10th.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia (17') gave the Odisha an early lead with his first goal of the season. Aridai Suarez (22') extended the advantage five minutes later, having already assisted the first.
Early exchanges saw both sides create half-chances to score. Suhair Vadakkepeedika provided Lalkhawpuimawia with a decent chance but the forward completely miscued his shot from 12-yards out. NEUFC was punished moments later when Daniel scored with a simple tap-in. He was served the ball on a platter by Aridai, who weaved past Provat Lakra on the left flank and found the striker with a precise low cross.
The provider then became the scorer. Aridai found space on the left flank, cut inside on his right foot and hit a low shot that went through Mirshad Michu's gloves. Odisha kept NEUFC at bay for most of the remainder of the half.
The second half saw NEUFC push for a goal, and came close when Hernan Santana blasted a volley against the crossbar from long-range. Post the hour mark, Nandhakumar Sekar who came on from the bench had a great chance to score the third but saw his shot saved in a one-on-one situation.
Laldanmawia Ralte looked to have reduced the deficit in the late stages of the match but his goal was ruled out for offside by the officials. The fourth official added four minutes for stoppages following which OFC secured all three points and also recorded a morale-boosting clean sheet.
NorthEast United FC faces Chennaiyin FC in their next outing at the Fatorda on Saturday while Odisha FC must wait nine days before meeting Hyderabad FC at the Tilak Maidan on Thursday.