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Punjab FC and FC Goa share points in a six goal thriller

New Delhi: Punjab FC and FC Goa played out an exciting 3-3 draw to share points in Round 19 of the Indian Super League 2023-24 season which was played here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Wilmar Jordan, Luka Majcen and Juan Mera scored for the home side while Carl Mchugh, Noah Sadaoui and Carlos Martinez scored the goals for The Gaurs. With this point FC Goa secured their place in the playoffs while Punjab FC jumped to seventh in the table, same points as Jamshedpur who occupy the last playoff berth.

Scorecard

Punjab FC – 3 (Jordan 54’, Luka 61’, Juan Mera 78’)

FC Goa – 3 (Mchugh 5’, Noah 72’ (p), Carlos. M 84’)

Punjab FC Head Coach Staikos Vergetis made three changes to his starting lineup with Khaimingthang Lhungdim staring in place of Tekcham Abhishek Singh. Amarjit Singh Kiyam started in place of the suspended Nikhil Prabhu and central defender Suresh Meitei was rested with Melroy Assisi starting in his place. FC Goa Head Coach Manolo Marquez named a strong attacking lineup as Brandon Fernandes got a start along with Udanta Singh.

FC Goa started the match attacking the home side’s goal and Raynier Fernandes tested goalkeeper Ravi Kumar who tipped the midfielder’s shot above the post. The away side received two corners from that passage of play. The second corner from Borja Herrera found Carl Mchugh inside the box whose thunderous left footer found the top corner to give Goa an early lead in the match. Goa looked fluid in their attacks and were looking dangerous with the midfield and attack combining well together. Ravi Kumar made a fingertip save of Raynier’s long range effort.  On the other end Punjab settled into the game and were stitching together some meaningful passes keeping the defence on their toes. Ricky Shabong’s effort from outside the box went just wide of the post. FC Goa continued to showcase their attacking prowess but the Punjab defence and goalkeeper were upto the task as both teams went into halftime with the scores intact.

Punjab FC
Mera of Punjab FC celebrates his goal against Goa FC

Noah Sadaoui hit the crossbar with a ferocious effort at the beginning of the second half. Punjab started to attack with purpose and found the result in the 54th minute. Madih Talal found Wilmar Jordan inside the box, who fed the ball to his striking partner Luka Majcen. Luka’s attempt at goal fell to the path of Jordan who just had to tap into the goal for the equalizer. Punjab struck a double blow just seven minute later with a perfectly worked counter attacking goal. Melroy Assisi won the ball in his own half which was passed forward to Khaimingthang Lhungdim who rolled it to Madih Talal. The Frenchman found Luka Majcen who ran ahead of Seriton Fernandes and hit a left footed pile driver that saw goalkeeper Dhiraj Singh rooted to his spot to give The Shers the lead. Goa started to put on the pressure on Punjab and were awarded a penalty for a foul on Boris Thangjam by Mohammed Salah. Noah Sadaoui converted the penalty to make the scores even.

Punjab strike back immediately

The scores remained level for just six minutes as Punjab striked back immediately through another counter attack. Madih Talal found Juan Mera through maybe one of the passes of the season. The Spaniard foxed Jay Gupta and his pin point shot found the bottom corner of the net past the goalkeeper to give the lead for the home side.

Goa found the equalizer again in the 84th minute through substitute Carlos Martinez. An attack from the left wing fell perfectly for the Spaniard who converted with ease. Both teams pushed for the winner and did come close to finding it but in the end both teams had to be content with one point each.

Punjab FC jumped to seventh position in the table with 21 points from 19 matches while FC Goa qualified for the playoffs and are fourth in the table with 33 points from 18 matches. Punjab FC resume their season after the international break against Odisha FC on April 2nd at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar.

 

 

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