FC Goa go back to third after 2-2 draw with NorthEast United

posted in Match Report by FC Goa Official on 4th February 2021

posted in Match Report

by FC Goa Official

on 4th February 2021

FC Goa go back to third after 2-2 draw with NorthEast United

FC Goa climbed back to third on the table after sharing the spoils with NorthEast United tonight at the Tilak Maidan Stadium. An eventful 2-2 draw saw the Gaurs go ahead twice only to be pulled back by the Highlanders each time. 

Alexander Romario Jesuraj started the scoring in the 21st minute of the game before Federico Gallego levelled from the spot. Amarjit Singh, on his FC Goa debut, looked to have won it for the Gaurs in the 80th minute but Gallego again scored from a penalty three minutes later to bring the game back on level terms.

Juan Ferrando named three changes to the side that took to the field against SC East Bengal. Ivan Gonzalez and Seriton Fernandes returned to the starting XI with the latter being named the captain of the side for the first time. Also returning to the lineup was Devendra Murgaokar. 

The Gaurs started the game on the front foot with Devendra putting in a shot in the 4th minute of the game itself after Seriton had romped down the right. 

FC Goa kept the pressure up and found the breakthrough in the 21st minute. A great dummy on the left enabled Ortiz to have a run at his defender. The Spaniard did well to get the better of his man before cutting back from the byline to find Alberto Noguera in the box. His fellow Spaniard’s scuffed attempt fell to Romario who tapped the ball in for his first goal in the Hero Indian Super League. 

The Highlanders responded in kind and looked to threaten on the counter-attack with Deshorn Brown and VP Suhair coming close to testing Dheeraj in the Goa goal. 

NorthEast’s first big chance came in the 38th minute when Brown was able to get behind the Gaurs’ backline. His attempt, though, was thwarted at point-blank range by Dheeraj.  The resulting corner again forced Goa to take evasive action as Glan Martins, in his first game in an FC Goa shirt eked out a goal-line clearance. 

Three minutes later NorthEast equalised through Federico Gallego from the penalty spot after Noguera was deemed to have brought down Luís Machado in the box. 

The half’s last chance came the way of Igor Angulo. The Spaniard’s shot from 35 odd yards out had Subhashish in the NorthEast goal scampering, but the attempt flew a foot over the crossbar.

The beginning of the second half saw Amarjit Singh being brought on for his first FC Goa game in place of Romario to add more steel to the centre of the park after Princeton had to be taken off following an injury. 

And that change proved pivotal. 

The Goan backline for once had to withstand a barrage of attacks, but showed real character and put on the brakes as NorthEast, to their credit, played some expansive football. 

Amarjit’s introduction bore fruit in the 80th minute when a Jorge Ortiz corner was bundled over the line by the midfielder to give FC Goa the lead. 

The joy would not last long though for Juan Ferrando’s men as Gallego brought back level again within three minutes. The Uruguayan scored again from the spot, this time after Ashutosh Mehta was tripped in the box by Gonzalez. 

Ortiz came close to securing all three points as his shot clipped the crossbar, but it was not to be as both sides shared the spoils.  

The point helps FC Goa climb back up to third on the table with 22 points from their 15 points – level on points with Hyderabad and NorthEast United but ahead on goal difference. 

The Gaurs will now look to get back to winning ways against Mumbai City when they face the Islanders on Monday, February 8. The match is slated for a 7:30 pm kick-off.