Odisha FC made it three consecutive wins as they edged NorthEast United FC 2-1 in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday. Nandhakumar Sekar scored his fourth goal of the season to put Odisha in front in the 25th minute before substitute Rochharzela scored with his first touch to make it all square in the 60th minute. Jerry Mawihmingthanga scored the winner in the 78th minute to lift Josep Gombau's side up into second place.
The hosts made just one change to their starting eleven as Pedro Martin dropped to the bench, and Diego Mauricio started. The visitors made four changes, with Arindam Bhattacharja, Tondonba Singh, Mohamed Irshad, and Matt Derbyshire coming in to replace Mirshad Michu, Gurjinder Kumar, Jon Gaztanaga, and Rochharzela.
Odisha got their noses in front in the 25th minute courtesy of Nandhakumar, who got on the scoresheet for the third successive game. Raynier Fernandes slid a through ball into the box for Mauricio, who whipped a low ball across the face of goal, and the winger was at the far post to tap it into an empty net.
The equaliser came in the second half when Rochharzela scored soon after coming on. Right-back Joe Zoherliana played a low ball into the box. The ball missed everyone and found its way to Rochharzela, who scored with his first touch at the hour-mark and drew the Highlanders level.
In the 73rd minute, the offside flag denied Odisha FC a goal. However, a goal did come for the hosts just five minutes after that incident. Crespo unleashed a shot at goal, which was parried by Arindam straight to Jerry, who picked his spot and put the hosts back in front.
The narrow win kept Odisha FC's 100% record at home intact and helped them leapfrog Hyderabad FC and move into second place, three points behind leaders Mumbai City FC with a game in hand.