Odisha FC was jolted by an early goal, but it came strongly back to end NorthEast United’s spirited campaign in the Super Cup on Saturday. Odisha won the second semifinal 3-1, with Nandhakumar netting two of those goals.
But it was NorthEast’s prolific scorer Wilmar Jordan Gil who disturbed the net first. A long ball to the right flank from his own half by Mashoor Shereef found Rochharzela, who gave a cross to Jordan Gil. The Colombian showed his class, slotting the ball home for his seventh goal of the tournament.
But, NorthEast’s lead didn’t last long. Just eight minutes later, Jerry Mawihmingthanga sent in a superb cross from the right to Nandhakumar, who headed it in neatly.
Though both sides continued to create chances in the opening half, neither could convert. The score stayed 1-1 at half-time.
In the second half, Odisha looked more threatening. Nandhakumar was the main reason for that, as he consistently put the NorthEast defence under pressure.
Eighteen minutes into the second half, he put Odisha ahead with a fierce shot towards the roof of the net. It was a superb finish to his 1-2 with Victor Rodriguez. Then, Diego Mauricio put the match beyond NorthEast, with a firm drive from the edge of the box to the far post.
In the final, to be played at Kozhikode on April 25, Odisha will take on Bengaluru FC.
The result: Odisha FC 3 (Nandhakumar 10 & 63, Diego Mauricio 86) bt NorthEast United 1 (Wilmar Jordan Gil 2).