Hyderabad starts with a 2-1 win over Aizawl; East Bengal and Odisha share the spoils in a 1-1 encounter
Hyderabad beat Aizawl 2-1 at the Payyanad Stadium in Manjeri thanks to goals from Joel Chianese and Joao Victor to start their Group B campaign in the 2023 Super Cup. In the evening kick-off game, East Bengal and Odisha played out a 1-1 draw as both sides missed plenty of opportunities to bury the game.
Hyderabad shrug off late Aizawl threat to win 2-1
Hyderabad fielded themselves in a 4-4-2 formation with Anuj Kumar guarding the sticks. Reagan Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Odei Onaindia, and Manoj Mohammad formed the back four with Sahil Tavora, Halicharan Narzary, Sahil Tavora, and Borja Herrera making the midfield four. Abdul Rabeeh and Joel Chianese were deployed as the two frontline strikers.
Aizawl entered the field in a 5-3-2 formation. Hriatpuia donned the gloves with K Lalmalsawma, Lalmuanawma, Lalchhawnkima, Akito Saito, and Lal Biakzuala playing as the five defenders in the back. K Lalrinfela, Eisuke Mohri, and Lalramsanga played as the three midfielders in the middle of the park responsible for feeding balls to strikers Ivan Veras and David Lalhlansanga.
Hyderabad nearly broke the deadlock in the 3rd minute when a deflection off Borja Herrera’s free-kick saw Sahil Tavora unleash a shot on target from outside the box. However, Hriatpuia tipped it over the crossbar.
Aizawl created a chance for themselves in the 16th minute when Veras got inside the box after receiving a looping cross from the halfway mark. However, Anuj thwarted his effort above the crossbar.
However, the resultant corner proved costly as Hyderabad got their noses upfront in the next minute via a counter-attack. Abdul Rabeeh made a darting run and crossed it towards Chianese in a promising position who laid it off for Borja in the left flank. The latter’s shot was parried away by the Aizawl custodian but Chianese extended his legs to pounce on the rebound and tap it home.
Hyderabad didn’t have to wait long to double the lead after half-time as Aaren D’Silva was brought down inside the box in the 50th minute. Substitute Joao Victor stepped up to take the spot kick and calmly placed it in the top corner. Aizawl tried to surge forward but was prevented from taking any shot by the Hyderabad defenders.
In the 88th minute, Joao Victor curled a cross towards Siverio at the centre and the latter towered above his marker to keep his header low. However, Hriatpuia dived full-fledged to palm away the shot. Just when it seemed Hyderabad would walk away with a clean sheet, Veras curled his shot from outside the box into the back of the net leaving, Anuj to dive for the cameras.
Jake Jervis misses force East Bengal to play a 1-1 draw with Odisha
East Bengal started the game in a 4-4-2 formation with Kamaljit Singh donning the gloves. Athul Unnikrishnan, Lalchungnunga, Sarthak Golui, and Tuhin Das formed the back four while Alex Lima, Mobashir Rahman, Charis Kyriakou, and Naorem Mahesh Singh played as the four central midfielders. Cleiton Silva and Jake Jervis were deployed as the two strikers.
Odisha played in a 3-5-2 formation on the other hand with Amrinder Singh guarding the sticks. Narender Gehlot, Carlos Delgado, and Sahil Panwar played as the back three while Thoiba Singh and Saul Crespo played as the two defensive midfielders.
Nandhasekar Kumar, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, and Princeton Rebello played as the three midfielders with ISL 2022-23 Golden Boot winner Diego Mauricio and Victor Rodriguez leading the line for the Juggernauts.
In the 13th minute, Mauricio shrugged off the challengers of defenders and took a shot from outside the box. Kamaljit responded with a double save as he thwarted the initial save and showed tremendous reflex to save Nandhasekar’s rebound from close range.
Ten minutes later, Narender surged forward on the overlap and crossed the ball towards Nandha. However, his final shot was not connected properly and it trickled wide. Against the run of play, East Bengal’s Mobashir dispossessed Narender and bent the ball past Amrinder as the ball nestled into the net after taking a deflection off the woodwork.
In the 58th minute, Nandha did find the net for Odisha but was rightfully judged to be in an offside position. Odisha finally equalised in the 73rd minute when Diego whizzed past East Bengal bodies and laid it on a platter for Nandha to equalise with a backpass. The latter made no mistake this time as he slotted the ball into an empty net.
Jake Jervis missed three chances in the final ten minutes of the game as East Bengal failed to restore their lead. In the 84th minute, he hit the woodwork while in the second minute of added time, Jervis’ shot from close range trickled wide. Later on, his shot from the box was cleared away by Osama as the referee blew his full-time whistle.
The Red and Gold Brigade will take on Hyderabad on Thursday in the afternoon kick-off while Odisha will lock horns with Aizawl in their next Group B encounter.