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FC Goa Share Spoils with NorthEast United Following 2-2 Draw

In Sports
January 16, 2023

Spanish midfielder Edu Bedia celebrated his 100th ISL appearance with a goal, but that and Iker Guarrotxena’s strike proved not enough for an FC Goa win as NorthEast United held them 2-2 at Guwahati.

Wilmar Jordan Gil netted a brace for the hosts, helping them to only their second unbeaten result of the ongoing season.

For the first time this season, FC Goa head coach Carlos Pena named an unchanged starting XI. Fares Arnaout was preferred over Marc Valiente once again, while Noah Sadaoui and Iker Guarrotxena spearheaded their attack.

The Boys in Orange started the clash on a strong note, coming close to scoring in the 6th minute itself. Sadaoui got the ball on the left flank and put a searching cross towards Redeem Tlang at the near post, but NorthEast United goalkeeper Mirshad Michu read it well and made a tidy save.

The Highlanders then replied in equal measure, with Jithin MS finding himself in a 1-v-1 situation with Dheeraj Singh at the end of a well-orchestrated move. The Manipuri shot-stopper, however, saved the forward’s attempt and thwarted the danger.

A period of domination by the Gaurs followed, as they created chances after chances. They finally broke the deadlock in the 31st minute, with Bedia scoring his third of the season.

Brandon Fernandes pounced on a loose ball in the opposition box and prodded it towards the onrushing Spaniard, who beat Mirshad with a left-footed volley.

The visitors’ happiness, though, lasted only 17 minutes as Wilmar Jordan Gil equalised for NorthEast United from the spot during injury time.

Penalties decide fate of the clash
Following the change of ends, FC Goa intensified their efforts in regaining the lead. Sadaoui, Guarrotxena and Tlang all had chances, but failed to find the target.

A penalty in the 65th minute then helped the Gaurs turn the tables in their favour. Iker Guarrotxena sent the goalkeeper the wrong way as he fired into the top right corner from the spot, after Noah Sadaoui was brought down in the box.

It did not take long for the Highlanders to bring the score-sheet back to level terms, once again through a penalty scored by Gil in the 71st minute.

The rest of the clash was relatively quiet as both teams jostled for possession of the ball. In the final minute of stoppage time, Brison Fernandes found the back of the net from a headed pass by Guarrotxena, but the youngster was ruled off-side much to the Gaurs’ chagrin.

The match thus ended in a 2-2 draw, with FC Goa remaining at sixth place with 20 points from 14 outings. Their next assignment is at home against Kerala Blasters on January 22.