FC Goa, Hyderabad FC split the points after a pulsating draw

FC Goa and Hyderabad FC played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Athletic stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Saturday to extend their respective recent unbeaten streaks.

After a see-saw battle in the first half, Joel Chianese (54’) put Hyderabad FC in front before Airam Cabrera (62’) equalised for FC Goa to force a share of spoils.

Juan Ferrando’s team who had won their last two matches in ther Hero ISL began the game on the front foot, dominating the possession and pushing Hyderabad FC in their own half with their incessant pressing.

Hyderabad FC needed some last-ditch defending to stop FC Goa from taking the lead in the 4th minute when Mohamed Ali’s cross which was punched away by Laxmikant Kattimani fell to Saviour Gama at the center of the box and his shot had to be blocked.

Hyderabad FC began to beat the FC Goa press around the ten minute mark and straightaway conjured up opportunities. Hitesh Sharma had a chance to put his team in front when he received a cut-back from the left side but his shot was weak and was dealt by the FC Goa defence.

Three minutes later, FC Goa were caught at the back again as Hyderabad FC ventured into the empty space on the left hand side of the FC Goa defence. Bartholomew Ogbeche received the cross but could only see his shot blocked.

Ogbeche tried his luck once again in the 20th minute when he was found on the counter-attack but his shot after a clever turn was palmed away by Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem.

Hyderabad FC started to get on the ball more around the half-hour mark and should have had a penalty in the 36th minute when Chianese was fouled inside the box but the referee didn’t see it that way and booked the midfielder for simulation instead.

FC Goa then had a goal ruled out for offside a minute from the interval.

Both teams went into half-time deadlocked at 0-0 but there was plenty of action at either ends.

Just like in the first half, FC Goa started the brighter of the two sides at the start of the second period pushing Hyderabad FC on the back foot but Manuel Marquez’s side were able to hit the Gaurs on the break and broke the deadlock in 54th minute when Chianese was played in on goal by Akash Mishra. The midfielder steadied himself before finishing past Dheeraj Singh.

Hyderabad FC had their tals up after going ahead and threatened to double the advantage but it was FC Goa’s turn to strike against the run of play.

Devendra Murgaonkar sneaked past the Hyderabad FC backline before taking it past the goalkeeper and shooting goalwards. The eventual shot though rebounded off the post to fall for Cabrera who smashed it home into the virtually empty net in the 62nd minute to make it 1-1.

The game got stretched after the two goals and FC Goa were in agains three minutes later but they let the chance pass trying to be too intricate in front of goal.

Edu Bedia then came close for FC Goa in the 78th minute as his free-kick flew just over.

Hyderabad FC then suffered a big blow as Asish Rai had to go off injured with an ankle injury.

In the 85th minute, Marquez’s men had a great chance to snatch all three points when FC Goa failed to deal with a long ball that reached Aaren D’Silva who effort was saved by Dheeraj Singh. But with the goalkeeper on the floor, substitute Javier Siverio couldn’t lift it over and into the goal on the rebound.

Hyderabad FC then had Kattimani to thank to preserve the point as he made a top-class save with an outstretched right hand to deny Noguera a minute from time.

There was no winner after what was a pulsating encounter that ended in a 1-1 draw.

The point meant second-placed Hyderabad FC could only close the gap on leaders Mumbai City FC to four points. But the draw was enough to lift FC Goa back into seventh place.

Marquez’s side take on SC East Bengal in the next match on Thursday while FC Goa face Odisha FC a day later.

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