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2020-21 Indian Super League, Regular Season
  • Igor Angulo (43')
  • Idrissa Sylla (40' PEN)

ISL 2020-21: FC Goa, NorthEast United FC play out entertaining draw

Igor Angulo wheels away in celebration after scoring the equaliser v NorthEast United FC Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for ISL

An exciting, at times tempestuous match between FC Goa and NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) played out to a 1-1 draw at the Fatorda. Idrissa Sylla gave NEUFC the lead with a penalty on the 40th minute, against the run of play. Igor Angulo responded for the designated home side within three minutes.

The match had started with two quick half-chances at either end before settling down into a pattern that would stick for the duration of the ninety - Goa dominating possession, NEUFC countering with pace and directness. The fact that Goa had 16 shots to NEUFC's 8, and had 68% of the possession reiterates this.

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Brandon Fernandes made his first start of the season for Goa, and with Edu Bedia and Alberto Noguera alongside him dominated midfield. They struggled for incisiveness though, and could not find Igor Angulo or Jorge Ortiz with the kind of regularity they would have liked.

NEUFC's defensive line held strong and the first genuine chance came their way - an excellent cross from the right flank picked out Idrissa Sylla but the striker could only bounce it off the outside of the roof of the net.

Four minutes later, though, Ivan Gonzalez was adjudged to have brought Sylla down. He dusted himself off to take the kick. He put it in the net but it had to be retaken after a teammate off his encroached into the area. Sylla made no mistake with the retake.

Goa went all out for the equaliser, and it was made by a bit of lovely skill from Brandon Fernandes and exceptional movement from Igor Angulo. A feint and Brandon lost his Provat Lakra and whipped in a sublime cross that was met by Angulo - who angled an equally adept finish low into the far corner.

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The second half saw no goals, and the closest either team came to scoring was when Noguera smacked the near post with a powerful drive from 25 yards. The match remained exciting, though, even if it was bereft of goalmouth action.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines Juan Ferrando and Gerard Nus Casanova had a fair exchange of views and it took their coaching staff and the presence of substitute Kwesi Appiah to make sure they didn't actually come to blows. In fact, they were both shown yellow cards before any of their players on the pitch was. After the match, Ferrando declined to comment on the incident but Casanova had a rather curt quote -- "He seemed to want to come and work for NorthEast."

NorthEast continue to sit pretty, still unbeaten, with five points in three games. Goa meanwhile have two in three and the pressure will start mounting on Ferrando to deliver results for the league shield holders.