Hyderabad FC stumbled to a 2-1 defeat against Odisha FC in the Group B clash of the Hero Super Cup 2023. As a result, the Juggernauts will now face the winners of Group D in the semi-finals of the competition.
The Nizams took the lead early in the game courtesy of Javier Siverio. Borja Herrera found Siverio in the six-yard box, whose glided header beat Arindam in goal. It was certainly a wake-up for the Juggernauts, who struggled to make inroads.
However, they began showing promise after the first quarter of the game. Victor Rodriguez and Diego Mauricio came close to scoring, but Gurmeet Singh kept his side from conceding an equalizer in the first half.
Nonetheless, the Juggernauts leveled the proceedings just ten minutes into the second half. A corner kick proved to be a catalyst for pandemonium, but Mauricio ultimately had the telling touch to bring his side back into the competition.
Hyderabad FC were guilty of missing several chances as they struggled to break the resolute Odisha FC defense. They were eventually made to rue those opportunities as the Juggernauts doubled their lead to put the game to bed. Victor Rodriguez was in the right place at the right time to complete the comeback.
With the victory, Clifford Miranda’s men topped the group ahead of Hyderabad FC. On that note, let’s take a look at the three things learned from today’s game.
#1 Diego Mauricio is the man for big occasions
Diego Mauricio capped off an excellent ISL season with 12 goals to his name and won the Golden Boot in the process. Following a one-month hiatus, he has continued his fine form into the Hero Super Cup, scoring and assisting twice in three games.
The Brazilian was given a free role against Hyderabad FC and certainly posed immense problems with his physicality and pace. His poacher instinct was on display for the first goal as he scored a tap-in from six-yards out, while also providing a stunning assist to Victor Rodriguez towards the end of the game.
Odisha are reliant on Mauricio to produce the goods up front and will hope that their star striker can do the damage in the semi-finals as well.
#2 Ogbeche-less Hyderabad FC fail to apply the final touch
Hyderabad FC undoubtedly had their chances against Odisha FC, but Javier Siverio and co appeared to have left their shooting boots at home tonight. The Spanish striker was on the scoresheet with a perfectly glided header, but he had several opportunities to give his side the lead in the second half..
Sahil Tavora’s whipped cross unmarked Siverio in the six-yard box, but his poor headed attempt missed the target. His wastefulness in front of goal was the bitter pill the team had to swallow as they fell short of victory due to his missed chances.
Perhaps Hyderabad FC missed Bartholomew Ogbeche’s presence up front. The Nigerian striker could have made the difference for Manolo Marquez’s men in what was a disappointing end to a promising season.
#3 Clifford Miranda has unleashed a new look Odisha FC
Odisha FC’s inconsistency and their inability to beat the higher placed teams meant that they were knocked out of the playoffs by ATK Mohun Bagan. Clifford Miranda replaced head coach Josep Gombau before the end of the season, but there were not many expectations ahead of the Hero Super Cup.
However, Miranda has turned a corner at the club and his tactics have added a new lease of life to Odisha FC. The Juggernauts look confident in possession, but more importantly, pick their moments to attack and defend.
This factor was showcased against Hyderabad FC tonight. They did not panic once they fell behind, but instead bounced back to deliver a knockout blow in the second half. Additionally, they slowed down the tempo at the right moment and showed maturity after leveling the proceedings.
It will be interesting to see their decision regarding Clifford Miranda’s role at the club in the upcoming season, considering his impressive performances in the Hero Super Cup.