FC Goa head coach Manolo Marquez felt that his side did not play a good game as they were held to a 1-1 draw against NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Friday.

FC Goa took the lead in Guwahati with a goal by Carlos Martinez before NorthEast United FC equalised minutes later through a Jithin MS.

FC Goa had a total of nine shots in the whole game out of which four were on target and even had more possession of the ball, but struggled to break down the opposition defence. This is the first time this season that FC Goa dropped points since taking the lead. As things stand, the Gaurs hold the second place in the league standings and are two points behind table toppers Kerala Blasters FC. Marquez feels that his side needs to evaluate their recent performance and find out their shortcomings.

“Today I think that we need to do self-criticism. The coach is the first who has to do it because I think that we didn't have the players completely focused in the game,” Marquez stated in the post-match press conference.

“In the first half, we didn't play a good game. In the second half in terms of effort, the attitude was very good but practically maybe it's one of the games in which we created lesser chances,” he further said.

“As usual when you do not play a good game it is important not to lose. Everyone expected if we could win this game it would be very good but finally the opponent also plays (to win),” he added.

NorthEast United FC lost defender Michel Zabaco through an injury in the first half but despite his absence, the Highlanders put on a splendid defensive effort to hold the Gaurs to a draw. FC Goa launched wave after wave of attacks throughout the game but found it hard to find a way past a spirited NorthEast United FC side, who defended like a unit.

Marquez appreciated NorthEast United FC's defensive organisation and also hailed their head coach Juan Pedro Benali.

“NorthEast United FC is one of the teams with better organisation in terms of how they play, very good. For me Juan Pedro Benali is one of the best coaches in ISL,” Marquez said.

FC Goa are the only unbeaten team in the league so far and despite being placed two points behind Kerala Blasters FC, they have two games in hand. This was their third draw this season, having won seven of their 10 matches so far. Marquez backed his side to continue the momentum after the international break.

“One more point. Now a good break for the team,” Marquez said.

“Some players will be in the national team and the rest of the players will be in the Super Cup so we need to keep going,” he said.

“We need to progress when we come back for the training sessions (after the international break),” he added.