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ISL 2020-21 Odisha FC vs Hyderabad FC 5 Talking Points: Liston Colaco Shines, Odisha Look Toothless

Liston Colaco (Photo Credit: ISL Media)

Liston Colaco (Photo Credit: ISL Media)

ISL 2020-21: Odisha FC were unable to have any control in the midfield which enabled Hyderabad FC to show everything they had.

Abreshmina Sayeed Quadri

An Indian Super League clash between Odisha FC and Hyderabad FC was expected to be neck-and-neck but what was seen on Monday was Hyderabad completely dominating the field of play and Odisha looking nothing like the team they were for the past three years. With a penalty from Aridane Santana, Hyderabad defeated Odisha 1-0 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim. Odisha were without some key players in Vinit Rai, Jerry Mawihmingthanga and foreigners Cole Alexander and Jacob Tratt, which disbalanced their team but largely, Odisha FC did not seem to have got the coach's philosophy right so far.

Hyderabad, on the other hand, looked silky throughout the field but they cannot be fully judged on the basis of the first game given the disappointing performance Odisha put up. Hyderabad had a couple of youngsters shine in Liston Colaco and Akash Mishra. Akash looked assured and confident at the left back position despite the game being his first in the ISL while Liston just set everything on fire from the moment he came on to the pitch.


Here are the five talking points from the match:


Liston replaced Mohammad Yasir in the 62nd minute of the match and from then on, the match belonged to the Goan. Post the match, even coach Manuel Marquez said the match was for Liston. Liston played as a second striker and tore apart the Odisha defence. Since coming on the pitch, Liston created chances after chances and had a couple of chances to score a goal as well, including one where his shot from an acute angle went just wide.

Liston was brought down a number of times to stop him from going through on goal or creating a goal for Santana. Hendry Antonay and Saurabh Meher both received cautions after bringing down Liston.

"Liston is a very good player and a very good guy. He is a very powerful guy. He's a player with a lot of quality, he can play in different positions. He played as a second striker today but he can also play as a winger. He is a young guy with a great future," Marquez said in the post-match conference.


Odisha starting the match with Thoiba Singh and Saurabh Meher as defensive midfielder, Marcelinho in the No.10 position and Nandhakumar and Manuel Onwu on the wings. Thoiba and Saurabh failed to stamp their authority in the midfield, which put the Odisha defence under immense pressure. Hyderabad were able to control the midfield with absolute ease and Odisha's midfield looked very lacklustre.

Also, coach Stuart Baxter seemed to be playing more direct and the Odisha's full backs were playing a lot more long balls, which was not playing to the strengths of Marcelinho. The balls could never really reach Marcelinho and he couldn't impact the proceedings like he usually would. He was substituted in the 53rd minute and did not seem happy about it.


Diego Mauricio did not seem to be able to trouble the Hyderabad centre-backs much. Onwu playing on the left wing did not work at all since Onwu has been more successful with a more central role. Since Marcelinho was ineffective as the No.10, the three foreigners along with Nandha on the right could not click at all and failed to cause Hyderabad any trouble.

After Marcelinho's substitution, Onwu went more central alongside Mauricio and Odisha were able to be a bit better up front but the forwards would need a lot more delivery to be effective.


Aridane Santana moved to Hyderabad from Odisha ahead of the current season and the Nizams reaped the benefits of that. Santana was an imposing figure in the Odisha box, winning all of his headers from set piece situations. Even though Santana will have to improve his heading since he could not get any on target, but him winning his battle up front played a crucial role for Hyderabad and helped them dominate.

It was Santana's cool penalty that have Hyderabad the win but even apart from that, his movement was excellent and created a lot of space for himself and the others. His presence in the final third put Odisha off and he would be a very crucial figure for Hyderabad throughout the season.


Hyderabad registered a 1-0 win on Monday and registered their first-ever clean sheet in ISL history. Hyderabad FC entered as a revamped entity from previously being FC Pune City and throughout the previous season, Hyderabad could not keep a single clean sheet. In fact, they had the worst defensive record as they let in 39 goals.

In the context of their previous season, the clean sheet for Hyderabad will be a huge confidence booster even though this wasn't their biggest test and they have much more difficult matches to come.

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