In what turned out to be another frustrating encounter for Odisha FC, it was narrowly beaten by the former champion, Chennaiyin FC, in the 2020-1 Indian Super League (ISL), at the GMC Stadium in Goa, on Wednesday. With this loss, Odisha stays at the rock bottom, while Chennaiyin has jumped to the fifth spot.

It was all due to Esmael Goncalves's twin strike in the first half (15th and 21st minute) that allowed Chennayin to gain the upper hand. Although Diego Mauricio pulled one back for the host, it turned out to be nothing more than a consolation, as the visitor grabbed hold of the three points.

Following the loss, Odisha manager, Stuart Baxter, rued injuries and suspension that has made the ongoing ISL campaign worse for them, as she said, "We made a few mistakes in the first half. We played well in the second and in the last 10 minutes, it was all about throwing the kitchen sink at it. We had too many games in a short period. (Diego) Mauricio had a tight calf, and (Jacob) Tratt was suspended. Jerry (Mawihmingthanga) wasn't fully fit as well."

"We made our mind that we were going to share the load between our attackers. That's why we made four changes. It wasn't that Marcelinho was bad, but he was lying deep towards the midfield. When his confidence went down, he wasn't up to the mark. That's why we brought on Mauricio, who did well. Those were very bad goals to give away. Our defence panicked a bit and we had to pay for that. I'm disappointed with the end result. However, I know my players are wearing their socks off, and hopefully, they come back stronger next time," added Baxter.

Meanwhile, Chennaiyin head coach, Csaba Laszlo opined that it was all about converting the chances successfully, as he reckoned, "I told my players that to win games and make the playoffs we need to finish those chances we create. And, they did exactly that in the first half. Kudos to Odisha, they gave us a tough fight. I'm very happy with the three points. I made a big mistake by bringing in (Deepak) Tangri very late. Otherwise, we would have defended better in the second half."

"We had to play deep and control the game from there because we were leading. (Lallianzuala) Chhangte had two chances to seal the deal and Thoi (Singh's) one was very easy too. It was a dirty game. We had to make those tactical fouls to slow down their tempo. It was a risk to play Esmael (Goncalves) over Jakub (Sylvestr). I was thinking this was the time to make changes. Esmael was out for a very long time and I decided to make the gamble. He showed that he can score at the right time," concluded Laszlo.