Odisha FC pipped Army Green team (AGFT) 1-0 in the Durand Cup football tournament at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Sunday. A solitary goal from Spanish forward Pedro Martin (83rd minute) helped Odisha FC pick up all three points.
The Juggernauts thus became the only side in the tournament to finish their Group D campaign with an all-win record, having secured 12 points from four games. They will now head to Kolkata for the knockout games. Kerala Blasters were the second side to make it to the knockout stages with seven points and two wins from four games. AGFT, on the other hand, finished third with four points from as many matches.
Odisha FC got their first chance in the 14th minute through young midfielder Raynier Fernandes as he took a shot from his Brazilian teammate Diego Mauricio, but it was off target. Fernandes took another crack at the opposition goal in the 35th minute but it was thwarted again. AGFT had two chances in the goalless first half when Roel Lepcha made an attempt from a distance in the 27th minute. Another chance for the AGFT arrived just seconds before the half-time whistle, when Gautam had a snap-shot at the goal. However, both the chances were thwarted by Odisha’s young goalkeeper, Dylan D’Silva.
With a drab display in the second half, Odisha coach Joseph Gombau made a few changes, including that of Martin, which finally plaid dividends towards the end of the game. Martin made no mistake in the 83rd minute as his clinical finish helped Odisha to finally break the deadlock.