FC Goa and Odisha FC share the spoils after a breathless encounter

Odisha FC and FC Goa shared the spoils after a hard-fought 1-1 draw in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, Goa on Friday.

The match was a tale of two halves with each club taking turns to assume control. FC Goa held the reins in the first half and their offensive pressure yielded a goal in the 42nd minute with Ivan Gonzalez making the net bulge. Odisha FC, on the other hand, grew in stature after the break and equalized through Jonathas in the 53rd minute. 

FC Goa began pressing early, whereas Odisha FC were content to wait for their counter-attacking moments. Early in the 4th minute, Airan Cabrera set himself up for a volley but Victor Mongil’s interception allowed the Juggernauts to spring a counter-attack.

FC Goa took command as the minutes ticked by and retained possession excellently in the middle of the pitch. There were a few chances but both keepers thwarted whatever the forwards threw at them.

The deadlock was broken by Ivan Gonzalez three minutes before half-time when Alberto Noguera clipped a delightful free-kick into the box from the right. The Gaurs won the first header and Gonzalez reacted quickly to stab the ball into the back of the net.

After the break, Odisha FC found their rhythm and tried to impose themselves on the match - a tactic that directly led to Jonathas’ equaliser. Post that, there were a few nervy moments for FC Goa, especially when Dylan Fox hit the frame of his own goal with a misdirected header.

In the final ten minutes of play, both clubs battled relentlessly to secure three points. Noguera tried his best to find a way through but was unable to do so. FC Goa’s substitutes too, didn’t have the desired impact.

In second-half injury-time though, Odisha FC had an excellent opportunity to seal victory. Aridai Suarez charged into the box and fed Liridon Krasniqi on the left flank, who could only watch in disbelief as Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem palmed the ball onto the post.

The draw meant that Odisha FC missed out on a chance to climb higher in the table, whereas the Gaurs remain marooned in 8th position, having only mustered eight points from seven matches.

FC Goa will now face ATK Mohun Bagan in their next match on 29th December, whereas Odisha FC will be up against Hyderabad FC on 28th December.

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