NEW DELHI: A splendid second-half performance saw Odisha FC beat SC East Bengal by a score of 6-5 at the GMC Stadium Bambolim on Saturday. This was the highest-scoring match in ISL history and this was the most number of goals the Kolkata giants have conceded against an Indian team in over 60 years.
Despite their second win of the campaign, Odisha finish the season bottom with 12 points from 20 games. The Red and Golds finished ninth with 17 points from their quota of matches.
Prior to the match, Odisha did not have a single Indian goalscorer but on the night, five goals were scored by three young Indians -- S Lalhrezuala, and a brace from Paul Ramfangzauva and Jerry
Mawihmingthanga. Diego Mauricio rounded off the score with his 12th of the campaign. East Bengal's goals came from Anthony Pilkington, a brace from Aaron Amadi-Holloway, an unfortunate own goal from the keeper Ravi Kumar and the first of the season from Jeje Lalpekhlua.
The first half saw Pilkington open the scoring with his third of the campaign. He had scored first in the reverse fixture as well. Zuala equalised before the own goal gave East Bengal a 2-1 lead going into half-time. At that time, it seemed the Kolkata club would go on to win as Odisha came into the match on the back of a 1-6 thrashing at the hands of Mumbai City FC. All hell broke loose in the second half as both defences decided to sit back and allow goals from all distances and all manners.
Robbie Fowler has time and again maintained the lack of time the team got but this was no excuse for such a result against the weakest team of the season. "We would have liked for things to have been better. There were individual errors and we let ourselves down. Less said about the second half the better. Every shot they had went in. We knew it was a big job before start of the season. Expectations were a bit higher than what we envisaged. We can prepare for next season now. We didn't have enough time for this season. We have few months to get things in shape."