“It is football. You have to put the ball in the net. At the end, the team that wins the game is the one who score more,” said a dejected Josep Gombau after Odisha FC’s 1-0 defeat at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune against Bengaluru FC in their recent Indian Super League outing.

A solitary victory in seven ISL fixtures have left Odisha at a lowly seventh place in the league tally, and despite showing signs of aggression at times, the team has failed to edge ahead of their opponents. As things stand, Odisha are winless in their last four encounters, having scored a mere two goals during the tenure, while conceding three.

Lack of attacking instinct

An attacking line-up consisting of Aridane Santana, Xisco Hernandez and Jerry Mawihmingthanga sure remains a deadly presence on paper, but in reality, the trio has failed to deliver anything positive in the final third.

Read | Aridane Santana: A journeyman finding solidity with Odisha FC

Odisha, in seven league outings, have scored just eight goals, with four of them coming against Mumbai City FC in a 4-2 win away from home in October. Odisha started their new campaign by scoring six goals in their first three games, but the rate has dropped down massively since then. The Bhubaneshwar-based team have only managed two goals in their last four games.

A detailed comparison between their first three and last four games gives a clear perspective.

Odisha FC in ISL 2019/20

Split By



Shot Accuracy

Chances Created


Conversion Rate

First 3 matches







Last 4 matches







Of eight goals they have scored this season, four have come from Santana, while three from Xisco. Over-reliant? Maybe.

It is fair to say the failure of converting chances has hurt them big time. Against Bengaluru, especially, Odisha had more shots on target (6-5), but they weren’t clinical enough to beat Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Defensive instability

While their attacking unit has failed to deliver in recent times, the other end of the field doesn’t provide any solidity either. The team, in fact, have conceded four of their nine goals through set-pieces; only Kerala Blasters have conceded more goals (5) from set-pieces than Odisha this season.

The defenders have not only failed to cover their targets but have also left spaces in dangerous areas to allow their opponents a go. Even against Bengaluru, Odisha defenders failed to clear a quick corner, which the defending champions managed to regroup and score.

Their defenders, furthermore, look fatigued in the latter stage of the game and the fact that the team has conceded three goals after the 75-minute mark proves the fact.

Read | Josep Gombau and his Odisha FC project - ISL's feel-good story

Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @OdishaFC