NorthEast United extended its unbeaten run to three games after frustrating FC Goa in a 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League Season 7 encounter at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday. Goa is yet to record three points this season.
Idrissa Sylla (40’ p) scored the opening goal before Igor Angulo (43’) equalised just before the break.
Brandon Fernandes was handed his first start of the season along with Aibanbha Kupar Dohling as Goa boss Juan Ferrando made three changes to the side which had suffered a defeat to Mumbai City FC. Jorge Ortiz Mendoza started with James Donachie benched.
NorthEast made as many as five changes to the side which came from behind to hold Kerala in a thrilling 2-2 draw. Sylla was preferred ahead of Kwesi Appiah. Provat Lakra, Luis Machado, Lalrempuia Fanai and Britto PM were the other fresh faces.
Goa was keen to impose itself on the Highlanders and came close in the fifth minute. Fernandes played a long diagonal pass from inside his own half to find Mendoza on the flank, but the latter shot straight at keeper Subhasish Chowdhury.
The Gaurs was clearly the better side in the first quarter enjoying almost 70 per cent possession. It was all over NorthEast territory trying to create spaces, but its sloppy passing let it down. The Highlanders, which relied mostly on counters, had its opportunities too.
At the half-hour mark, the visitor nearly scored. But Sylla couldn’t keep his composure in front of the goal as he headed Britto’s deflected cross over the bar.