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Durand Cup: Northeast United and FC Goa play out and exciting four goal draw

NEUFC – 2 (Manvir 24’ Sandesh 52’(og))                                  FC Goa – 2 (Rowllin 45+4 Noah 80’(p))

Guwahati: Northeast United FC and FC Goa played an exciting 2-2 draw to share points in a Group D fixture of the IndianOil Durand Cup played here at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium. Manvir Singh opened the scoring for Northeast as Rowllin Borges equalized for Goa in the injury time of first half. Sandesh Jhingan’s own goal gave Northeast United the lead and Noah Sadaoui’s penalty gave the equalizer for Goa. Both teams have four points each after two matches but FC Goa takes the top spot on virtue of goal difference.

All 43 games of the 132nd IndianOil Durand Cup are being telecast LIVE on Sony Sports Ten 2 channels as well as livestreamed on SonyLIV

FC Goa Coach Benito Felix rotated his squad after a dominating victory in the first match against Shillong Lajong by making seven changes to the starting lineup with the Spanish duo of Carlos Martinez and Victor Rodriguez along with Udanta Singh leading the line. Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh, wing backs Seriton Fernandes and Aiban Dohling and Raynier Fernandes coming into the lineup. Northeast United Head Coach Juan Pedro Benali made two changes to the starting lineup with Asheer Akhtar and Redeem Tlang coming in for Michael Zabaco and Rochharzela.

It was an even contest from the start as both teams were trying to create chances going forward by keeping possession. There were no clear cut chances for both teams as they were content to attempt from long rangers. The first goal of the game came in 24th minute from a mistake by Goa goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh. He delayed to clear a back pass received and the keeper who was outside the box was closed down by Manvir Singh. The ball deflected into the goal giving Northeast United the lead.

FC Goa then were looking to equalize and showed urgency in their attacks. Carlos Martinez had two good chances to score but his first shot went wide in the 29th minute and after ten minutes his attempt from a corner was cleared off the line by Northeast defender Dinesh Singh. FC Goa equalized in the final seconds of injury time of the first half. Brandon’s corner was met brilliantly on the volley by Rowllin Borges and his shot landed on the top corner with Northeast keeper Mirshad having no chance. No team actually dominated in the half but FC Goa went into the break with the momentum with the scores tied.

FC Goa Captain Brandon Fernandes (10) in action

Goa started the second half carrying on the momentum from the first half but it was Northeast United who took the lead again through an own goal by Sandesh Jhingan in the 52nd minute. Manvir Singh’s low cross from the right wing was deflected into his own net by Sandesh Jhingan who was under pressure by Parthib Gogoi who was lurking behind him. Last match’s hat trick hero Noah Sadaoui was introduced which shore up Goa’s attack.

Goa dominated the possession but still could not create any clear cut chances. On the other end, Northeast came close to scoring through Mohammed Irshad from a corner as the defender’s header whisked past the post. Noah Sadaoui earned a penalty as he was clumsily fouled by Mohammed Irshad inside the box. He converted the penalty to equalize the score for FC Goa.

FC Goa pushed for the winner as they launched continuous attacks into the Highlanders box but the defence was solid with the goalkeeper Mirshad making some good saves. He saved a pile driver off a shot from Leander D Cunha. In the end both teams finished with a point each. Both teams have four points each after two matches but FC Goa takes the top spot on the basis of goal difference.

Kerala Derby Tomorrow

The much anticipated Kerala Derby will kick off tomorrow at the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata as Kerala Blasters and Gokulam Kerala FC will face off against each other. Kerala Blasters will start their campaign tomorrow in an early 2:30 kick off. Gokulam Kerala had won their first game of the tournament by beating Indian Air Force FT.

In the second match of the day, Kashmir side Downtown Heroes FC will face Shillong Lajong FC at the SAI Stadium in Kokrajhar at 4:45 PM. Shillong Lajong will finish their group campaign with this match as they have yet to open their account by losing both matches to Northeast United and FC Goa.





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