After the cancellation of consecutive matches due to the Covid-19 outbreak among the teams, football was back with a bang as the Juggernauts started strongly under new coach Kino Garcia and claimed the three points on offer with two early strikes.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia, who had not scored in three years, was on the scoresheet in the 17th minute when he was at the right place to direct in Aridai Suarez cross from the left of the box by getting past his marker Provat Lakra.
With the depleted Highlanders still in shock of the opener, Odisha were on song just five minutes later. Javier Hernandez floated in a perfect ball to the far corner of the box and Aridai got his name among the scorers when opposition custodian Mirshad Mishu let his shot in from under him in a poor goalkeeping display.
While Odisha dominated most of the game and created some chances, Kahlid Jamil’s men were denied an opportunity to get back into the match when Laldanmawia Ralte was mistakenly adjudged offside after he guided the ball in from a cross in the 83rd minute.
The win helped the Juggernauts jump five places on the league table to fourth with 16 points from their 11 matches. NEUFC, meanwhile, languish on the 10th spot and have just nine points from their 12 games so far.
With injury concerns still rampant in his squad, Jamil would hope that the inclusion of the newly-signed Marcelinho in the next games will lend them the teeth that have been missing from their campaign this season.