Photo Credit: ISL Media Twitter
ISL 2020-21 NorthEast United FC vs FC Goa: NorthEast United hold Goa for a 1-1 draw
The visitors found the lead but Goa was quick to cancel it out.
FC Goa played out a 1-1 draw against NorthEast United yesterday at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa.
FC Goa vs NorthEast United FC Highlights
Goals from Idrissa Sylla and Igor Angulo ensured both sides shared the spoils on Monday night.The match initially was a very open contest with both sides getting opportunities to score.
Jorge Mendoza had the first attempt on the goal at the 5th minute which was saved by NEUFC custodian Subashish Roy. Goa held the lion's share of possession but NorthEast United looked threatening in the opposition box.
Goa held the ball in the opposition half for a lot of time, and in the 24th minute Saviour Gama came close to open the account for the Gaurs when the ball was at his feet just inside the box but the Goan shot it wide of the target.
Ten minutes later, Idrissa Sylla found the golden opportunity to put the Highlanders on the front when he found a deflected cross to his path but the striker's header went above the crossbar. But it was only six minutes later when he was successful in doing so after the Guinean international won a penalty inside the box. He slotted the ball home from the spot but was asked to retake it due to encroachment inside the box by a teammate. The striker sent the keeper the wrong way to put his team in the lead.
The Highlanders enjoyed the lead only for three minutes, as a brilliant cross from Brandon Fernandes from the left was finished first time by Igor Angulo to equalize for the Gaurs.
Both Sylla and Angulo each had opportunities to score again but neither were able to, as the sides went into the break with a goal each.
The second half saw both sides take chances to score. While Goa tried to dominate the proceedings, NorthEast looked sharp on the counter.
A Luis Machado free-kick in the 81st minute was parried away by Goa custodian Mohammed Nawaz for a corner. In the 84th minute, Alberto Noguera's shot from the edge of the box agonizingly hit the upright.
None of the two sides came any closer to find the winner, taking home a point each.
NorthEast United head coach Gerard Nus entrusted a young Lalengmawia to lead the side on the night, “It is amazing to have one of the most talented Indian players with us. He has been part of the U-19 national team for India and I am sure he will be in the first team sooner or later. Giving him the captaincy shows that he has my full trust,” he said in the post-match press conference.
The Spaniard further commended the display of his side defensively. “I am satisfied with the work rate of my team. We wanted to win and we came here with that mentality. But at the same time, we knew that we were facing a team that topped the league table last season. It was a big test, and I am grateful with what I have seen from my players,” Nus said.
Having given starts to Lakra, Sylla, the coach was confident of their abilities. "It was not a risk at all because Lakra is a player with huge experience. I am happy with what I saw from him in the training sessions. This is one player I am lucky to have in the squad and that is why he played in the game. We saw some new players in action, which is very positive. It was not just 11 players who made the squad… I am pleased to see my players performing well,” Nus said.
Meanwhile, the FC Goa head coach Juan Ferrando felt his side should have shown more aggression. We are still trying to get an idea about how to play in the final third of the pitch. We have to be more intense and aggressive in the final third,” he opined.
Despite the team being winless this season with two draws and one loss, the coach didn’t seem overly concerned. “The team is working hard. We are trying to find the best XI to help the players. They have grown in some way, but it is necessary to change the details,” he said.