The 37th match of the Hero Indian Super League ended in an enthralling draw of 2-2 between Odisha FC and NorthEast United at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim on Tuesday. Diego Mauricio helped Odisha FC in taking the lead in the 23rd minute of the game as he came up with a brilliant finish.
However, NorthEast United FC equalized through Benjamin Lambot’s goal in the stoppage time of the first half. The Highlanders then took the lead for the first time in the match when Kwesi Appiah converted the penalty in the 65th minute after creating the chance himself. But NorthEast United could only hold on to their lead for two minutes as Cole Alexander scored his third goal of the campaign.
Odisha FC coach Stuart Baxter was disappointed as his team couldn’t end their search for the first win of the season. Odisha have thus far played seven matches out of which two have ended in a draw and the club has lost five. Thus, the team is yet to savour three points in the seventh edition of the league.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Baxter said: “I am not satisfied. I think we have been close to picking up three points on quite a few occasions this season. We just have not had that happy ending. It’s always been a sob story. So, I am not happy with the point, but I am happy with the improvements that we are making after every game.”
Meanwhile, Baxter was full of praise for his mid-fielder Cole Alexander who equalized for the team in the second half to help his side share the points. Baxter added that Alexander is an all-rounder on the pitch and he did a fine job for the team.
“Cole’s performance in general was great. I think he is an infectious player, the boys love him. At times, he is a one-man pressing unit, and he can get from box to box very, very quickly so it was no surprise to me that he got on the end of that and he side-stepped the defender, put it in the bottom corner. He is just a good player, Cole Alexander,” the 67-year-old said.
On the other hand, NorthEast United FC head coach Gerard Nus was also disappointed with the result and added his team deserved the three points.
Odisha FC will next play the table bottom team, SC East Bengal on 3rd of January at Tilak Maidan Stadium.