The youngster’s fourth goal of the season handed FC Goa a point as it held Chennaiyin FC to a 2-2 draw at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim in the Indian Super League on Saturday. It continued Pandita’s incredible run — his four goals came from bit-part roles over seven games. The draw was Goa’s sixth draw in a row and moved it to third place past Hyderabad FC.
It was Chennaiyin which started stronger, failing to take advantage of a couple of early chances. But just when it looked like its profligacy in front of goal was going to cost it, Chennaiyin took the lead.
It was Reagan Singh who paved the way for the goal with some great work down the right wing. He found Jakub Sylvestr through an army of Goa defenders, who took a couple of touches before finding an excellent finish despite losing his balance and going to the ground. Chennaiyin’s lead lasted less than six minutes. Goa went looking for the equaliser and was awarded a penalty. Eli Sabia, while rivalling Igor Angulo to get to a cross only managed to do so with his hand and the referee promptly pointed to the spot. There was some drama as Angulo slotted home the penalty only for the referee to order him to retake it. But the Spaniard made no mistake the second time as he dragged his team back to level terms.
Despite conceding, Chennaiyin mustered up enough resolve to go on the attack again and it was it which fashioned the better chances in the first half.
Chennaiyin’s endeavour yielded fruits in the second half as it retook the lead. But the goal did not make for good viewing for Goa fans as it came from confusion between Dheeraj and his defenders. It looked like Goa would rue that mistake as the match progressed into injury time without it looking like finding an equaliser. However, then came Pandita with his knack for scoring late goals.