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I-League: Odafe’s hat-trick saves the day for Bagan

Odafe Onyeka Okolie

Odafe Onyeka Okolie

Pailan Arrows went down to Mc Dowells Mohun Bagan 3-1 in an entertaining encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

Pailan Arrows the home team for this match started off the encounter on a positive note when Lalrozama Fanai put Pailan the lead in the 5th minute whereas Mohun Bagan Nigerian striker Odafe Onyeka Okolie scored his first hat-trick for Bagan, Odafe scored in 65th, 71st and 91st minute.

McDowells Mohun Bagan just used two of their foreigners to start the match with Odafe Onyeka Okolie starting upfront while Hudson Lima played in the midfield. Sunil Chhetri and Odafe Onyeka Okolie could not break the deadlock in the first half as Pailan Arrows seemed to hold onto their lead comfortably with some rock solid defending.

Manish Mathani wasted two goal scoring opportunities when he headed over the post on one occasion while his powerful long ranger was blocked by Pailan Arrows keeper Naveen Kumar in the 42nd minute.

Second half saw some aggressive move by Mohun Bagan which ultimately gave then result in 65th  minute when Odafe Onyeka Okolie leveled terms with a finish of a Hudson Lima cross. Odafe scored again in quick succession when he volleyed home on a Ashim Biswas low driven cross in the 71st minute.

In the 91st minute Odafe completed his third goal and a hat-trick, the first in current edition of the I League. He has become the highest goal scorer in the tournament.

The match ended 3-1 but Pailan Arrows will have some positives to take from the match as they gave McDowells Mohun Bagan a tough fight with some good defending in the first half before Odafe Onyeka Okolie showed his tremendous finishing abilities in front of goal.


(AIFF Press Release)