Sports reporter GUWAHATI, Oct 19 – FC Goa and North United Football Club (NEUFC) had to be satisfied with one point each playing a a 1-1 draw in their Hero Indian Super League encounter here at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Sunday evening.
NE United FC Sergio Contreras Pardo along with his teammates celebrate scoring against FC Goa during their ISL match at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday. - AT Photos
With this drawn match, the Goan team opened their account in the second match while the home team gathered four points from three outings.
Although superb skills could not be seen from the players of either sides, some good tactical moves enthralled the capacity crowd during the 90 minutes.
In the eighth minute, the Goan team faced a real threat when home team’s Spanish defender Joan Capdevila Mendez unleashed a firm grounder off a set piece. But Goa goalkeeper Jan Seda of Czech Republic made a splendid save diving full length to his right.
NEUFC goalkeeper Rehenesh Thumbirumbu Paramba fumbled in gathering the ball off a free-kick taken by Brazilian midfielder Andre Santos and a melee occurred. FC Goa’s Gregory Arnolin made good use of the situation and pushed the ball home in the 16th minute (1-0). The first session was almost evenly played and the ball roamed around the middle third of the pitch. However, the Zico-coached FC Goa initiated some goal-bound moves through Arnolin, captain Robert Pires and Andres. But the home team defenders stood firm in nullifying the moves.
In the 35th minute, NEUFC drew parity when Spanish striker Sergio Contreras Pardo (Koke) made no mistake in converting a spot kick which they earned following an inside box foul on Robin Gurung (1-1).
The goal electrified the partisan home crowd and motivated by the equalizer they made a couple of moves through Koke, Durga Boro and Zodingliana but without success. In the Goan defensive zone, Debabrata Roy, Narayan Das, Youness Bengelloun (France) and Czech Republic custodian Jan Seda had to face a tough time in the later part of the first half. After the action- packed first session, NEUFC started with a positive note in the second session and caused some real threat to their opponent. South Korean Do Dong-Hyun and Zambian Issac Chansa squandered two lovely scoring opportunities in the 53rd and 57th minute respectively. Goan team was forced to fall back as the NEUFC midfielders and forwards got their feet on the ground perfectly.
Dong-Hyun became a trouble-creator for the Zico’s team with some fiery shots. His bullet like shot in the 72nd minute was narrowly saved by Seda. Despite bringing in three Portugese – Miguel Bruno Pereira, Edgar Cravalho, Bruno Filipe – from the substitute bench, Zico hardly could make any difference in their attacking force.