Akash Mishra saved his side from the jaws of defeat as Hyderabad FC played out a 1-1 draw with Odisha FC in the Indian Super League at the Fatorda Stadium on Tuesday.
Hyderabad remains fourth with 17 points from 12 games, while Odisha is at the bottom with seven.
Hyderabad’s goal was a classic description of route one football. Goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani’s long ball was flicked on by Aridane Santana with a backward header. Liston Colaco got at the end of it and bombed down the right flank before squaring it for Halicharan Narzary, who guided it into the net for his fourth goal of the season. Six touches of the ball, from one end to the other, and Hyderabad had the lead.
Narzary was unfortunate not to double his tally as he was denied by the woodwork in the 39th minute. The 26-year-old sold the defender a dummy before cutting on to his right and placing it beyond the ‘keeper, only to be denied by the upright.
Hyderabad would rue the missed chance as Odisha struck back within six minutes of resumption. Stand-in skipper Cole Alexander buried the ball into the left bottom corner, well out of Kattimani’s reach, to restore parity. Hyderabad was denied a penalty a few minutes later when Liston’s dink clipped Gaurav Bora’s arm, but the referee saw no foul.
Diego Mauricio’s scintillating run nearly produced the winner for Odisha in the final quarter of play. The Brazilian, who has played alongside the iconic Ronaldinho, worked his way into the box and attempted to sneak the ball into the net from an acute angle. Mishra saved the day for Hyderabad as he was at the right place at the right time, heading the ball off the goal-line.
Mishra made another vital save on the goal-line in the 89th minute to block Nandhakumar Sekar’s strike and ensure his side took home at least a point.
The result: Hyderabad FC 1 (Narzary 13) drew with Odisha FC 1 (Alexander 51).
Wednesday’s match: Kerala Blasters vs Bengaluru FC, 7.30 p.m.