Odisha staged a stunning second-half comeback to secure a point in the Indian Super League (ISL) match against Jamshedpur on Sunday.
Nerijus Valskis' first-half brace (12', 27') was cancelled out by Diego Mauricio's strikes (77', 90+3') as Odisha snatch a point away from Jamshedpur in the 2-2 draw.
Owen Coyle made two changes to the Jamshedpur lineup which lost 1-2 against Chennaiyin in their opening fixture. Ricky Lallawmawma and Mobashir Rahman came in for Sandip Mandi and Jitendra Singh.
Stuart Baxter introduced two debutants Jacob Tratt and Cole Alexander along with Premjit Singh in the Odisha lineup in place of Thoiba Singh, Saurabh Meher and Diego Mauricio.
Jamshedpur looked determined to pick up an early goal as they started the match on a positive note. Their persistent attempts in the Odisha box resulted in a penalty in the 12th minute after Gaurav Bora blocked Nerijus Valskis' shot with his hand. The Lithuanian made no mistake from 12 yards to score his second goal of the season.
Odisha too created a few chances after conceding the goal but the Jamshedpur backline were vigilant enough to deal with their attempts.
The Men of Steel doubled their lead in the 27th minute taking advantage of Shubham Sarangi's sloppy defending. The right-back tried to nudge a long ball from Isaac Vanmalsawma to his teammates inside the box but Valskis pounced onto the loose ball and found the back of the net with a thunderous strike.
Odisha were a rejuvenated side in the second half. Manuel Onwu came very close to pulling one back for his team at the hour mark after he attempted an acrobatic volley only to be denied by Rehenesh. To everyone's surprise, the Spanish forward was immediately replaced as Baxter brought on Diego Mauricio to lead the line.
The change proved to be fruitful for the away side as Mauricio scored his team's opening goal in the 77th minute. Rehenesh was sent off for handling the ball outside the box and a free-kick was awarded to Odisha.
Mauricio's powerful free-kick hit the far post and fell for Sarangi who delivered a cross into the box. The Brazilian's attempted shot was blocked by Stephen Eze. Jacob Tratt delivered another cross from the rebound and this time the forward found the back of the net.
The Juggernauts kept pushing forward after the first goal and were rewarded for their relentless attacks towards the end of the match. Mauricio received a pass from Daniel Lalhimpuia inside the box and curled a brilliant strike into the top right corner of the net.