Odisha FC's AFC Cup campaign ends with goalless draw against Central Coast Mariners
14 Mar 2024

Odisha FC 0
drew with
Central Coast Mariners FC 0
(Aggregate: 0-4)

Sruti Chakraborty
AIFF Media Team

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha FC's first continental adventure ran its course as they were held Australian side Central Coast Mariners FC 0-0 in the second leg of the AFC Cup 2023-24 Inter Zone Semi-Final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday, March 14, 2024. The Mariners had triumphed 4-0 in the first leg seven days ago.

The game kicked off in rainy conditions and it didn't take long for Central Coast Mariners to start peppering shots on the Odisha goal. Custodian Amrinder Singh made two decent saves to deny Ronald Barcellos in the first eight minutes. The Kalinga Warriors struggled to find their rhythm and failed to register a shot throughout the game.

In the 28th minute, the Mariners got a golden opportunity to open the scoring when Ryan Edmondson was brought down in the penalty box by Odisha centre-back Carlos Delgado. However, Brazilian defender Mikael Doka, who had converted a spot-kick in the first leg, couldn't repeat it in Bhubaneswar, hitting the right post as Amrinder dived the wrong way. Five minutes later, the visitors built an intricate move from the left with several one-touch passes until Bradley Tapp fired his low first-time effort inches wide of the far post.

Odisha's first real chance came early in the second half when Roy Krishna went on a surging run, dribbling past a yellow shirt before releasing Diego Maurício on the right flank. The Brazilian's strong effort was palmed away by goalkeeper Daniel Vukovic, however, the assistant referee's flag went up as Maurício had strayed offside on the overlap.

The side from down under continued to be their usual selves. In the 57th minute, Doka's free-kick delivery was almost headed into his own net by Mourtada Fall as the Senegalese tried to prevent Edmondson from getting on the end of it. A few minutes later, Edmondson was guilty of missing a great chance as he fluffed his first-time attempt from close range on an inviting cross by Maximilien Balard.

Odisha then had a shout for a penalty denied when the ball appeared to come off Mariners defender Nathan Paull's left arm. But the Saudi Arabian referee did not deem the contact enough for a penalty and waved the play on.

In the end, the goalless draw was more than enough for Central Coast Mariners to book their spot in the Inter Zone Final.

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