NorthEast United hold FC Goa to 2-2 draw in ISL
Margao, Feb 4 (PTI) NorthEast United came from behind to hold FC Goa to a 2-2 draw in an Indian Super League match, here today.
Mandar Rao Dessai (42nd minute) and Ferran Corominas (53rd) scored for FC Goa, while Mario De Souza Greogorio Junior (45th) and substitute John Jairo Mosquera (71st) were the goal getters for the visitors.
The draw enabled FC Goa to reach 20 points, the same as Kerala Blasters but due to better goal difference, the Goan outfit are placed fifth.
NorthEast United are placed ninth with 11 points from 12 matches.
Both the teams made one change to their starting eleven. Incidentally, both right backs, FC Goa's Seriton Fernandes and NorthEast's Nirmal Chetri were suspended for this game. Jonathan Cardozo and Robert Lalthlamuana were their replacements.
After their double loss against Mumbai City, FC Goa needed a win today to climb to the fourth place.
The hosts started cautiously but suffered early set back when Brandon Fernandes limped off with an ankle injury with Manvir Singh coming in his place.
Coach Sergio Lobera made a tactical change pushing Manvir upfront in place of Coro, who dropped down to assist Lanzarote and Goa found their bearing as they controlled the midfield.
NorthEast United, who too needed a win, started positively and looked more dangerous in their attacks.
They came close to scoring twice but Laxmikant Kattimani was alert under FC Goa bar to deny Marcio.
FC Goa were unlucky not to find the net when Ahmed Jahou's shot from Dessai's assist hit the bar in the 34th minute.
After the close shave, NorthEast United's citadel finally fell in the 42nd minute.
Coro initiated the move on the right and relayed the ball to Eduardo Bedia, who send a cross deep into the box which Desai controlled and uncorked a firm left-footer that found the far corner of the net.
But FC Goa's joy was short-lived as the visitors scored the equaliser in similar manner at the stroke of interval through Mario as both the teams went into the breather locked at 1-1.
FC Goa started on a strong note after resumption and came close when substitute Manvir's effort was blocked by rival keeper Rehenesh.
FC Goa, who switched to long balls in the second half, restored their lead in the 53rd minute through Corominas, who made no mistake in finding the net from Manuel Lanzarote's assist.
With Goa enjoying midfield superiority, NorthEast United coach Abraham Grant brought in fresh pair of legs in the form of John Jairo Mosquera and Lalrindika Ralte in place of Danilo Lopes Cezario and Holicharan Narzary and the move paid off as Mosquera equalised in the 71st minute.
Rowllin Borges initiated the move on the right and laid a pass to Seiminlen Doungel, who cross into the box found substitute Mosquera and the striker made no mistake in finding the back of the net to draw level