FC Goa, NorthEast United FC miss chance to climb up the table after a 1-1 draw

The Match No 60 in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) between FC Goa and NorthEast United FC ended all square at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Saturday.

FC Goa had the better chances in the match and would be disappointed with the results, as they had to settle for just one point.

Hernan Santana (2') gave the Highlanders lead early in the first half but they were pegged back as Airan Cabrera  (39') equalised before the interval. There were chances for both teams to clinch the game but they couldn't do so, with both having to settle for a point apiece.

NorthEast United FC started on the front foot and had an early breakthrough as Spanish midfielder Santana scored the goal in the 2nd minute of the match. The 31-year-old midfielder smashed the free-kick into the far corner to put his team in front.

The Highlanders had an opportunity to double their lead in the 16th minute when Deshorn Brown attempted a quick counter-attack but the Jamaican failed to test Dheeraj Singh inside the goal, as his shot went up and over the crossbar.

Derrick Pereira’s men came close to scoring a goal in the 30th minute when Jorge Ortiz drilled in a low cross which got dummied over by Alberto Noguera and landed at the feet of Alexander Jesuraj, but his shot was saved by Mirshad Michu.

Just six minutes before the half-time whistle, the Gaurs found the equaliser. A perfect delivery from Alberto Noguera found Cabrera on the far post. The Spaniard did well to skip past Mashoor Shereef and headed the ball into the back of the net. Both teams went into half-time tied at 1-1.

The Gaurs started the second half on the front foot. FC Goa winger Alexander Jesuraj took a shot from distance and aimed for the top corner but Michu produced a fine save.

Rochharzela couldn’t finish the match tonight as he picked up an injury and Khalid Jamil replaced him with Laldanmawia Ralte. 

In the 66th minute, Michu made an exceptional save when Noguera put in a great cross inside the box from the right flank for Ortiz, who took the shot but Michu made a save at full stretch to deny the FC Goa midfielder.

FC Goa were then denied a goal in the 79th minute when a strange decision was made from the referee. The Gaurs had the ball inside the net but the referee thought that there was a foul on Michu and he disallowed the goal. That was not well received by head coach Pereira.

The Highlanders continued to push for the winner and had a few half chances but there was no killer finish. 

Eventually, both teams settled for a share of spoils that saw the Gaurs move to eighth spot, while NorthEast United FC stayed in the tenth spot.

The Gaurs next face SC East Bengal FC on Wednesday while NorthEast United FC take on Odisha FC in their next match a day earlier.

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