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Santana's penalty helps Hyderabad off to winning start

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Bambolim (Goa), Nov 23 (IANS) Aridane Santana’s succesfull penalty gave Hyderabad FC a 1-0 win over Odisha in their opening match of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) at the GMC Stadium on Monday.

Santana scored in the 35th minute after which Hyderabad managed to keep out Odisha for the length of the match.

This is the first time ever that Hyderabad have managed to keep a clean sheet since making their debut in the ISL last season.

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Hyderabad were all over Odisha’s territory in the opening minutes of the game, forcing their opponents to play deep. They won a series of corners in the first 10 minutes and nearly capitalised for a goal.

Their persistance paid off after the half hour mark when Odisha captain Steven Taylor handled the ball inside the box in an attempt to block Halicharan Narzary’s shot. Santana kept his composure and slotted home in the 35th minute.

It was only in the 40th minute of the match that Hyderabad goalkeeper Subrata Paul made his first save, thwarting Odisha striker Manuel Onwu. Hyderabad had chances to extend their lead but the outstanding Arshdeep Singh made a couple of good saves just before the half time whistle blew.

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Minutes after the restart, Odisha had their best opportunity to restore parity. But Nandhakumar Sekar’s poor first touch allowed Mishra to make a crucial goal-saving tackle.

Hyderabad almost doubled the lead from a set-piece but Joao Victor’s goal was rightly ruled offside. Liston Colaco, who constantly troubled the Odisha defence, almost produced a moment of magic in the 67th minute, when he dribbled from the half-way mark into the box, but was unable to find the finish. In the end, though, the misses did not matter, as Hyderabad held on for the win.

–IANS

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