A resurgent NorthEast United rescued a point with a gritty second-half display against FC Goa in a game where both sides will be encouraged by their Indian Super League start.
Ferran ‘Coro’ Corominas once again made a menace of himself in the opposition box, scoring his 19th and 20th ISL goals in the first half.
His opener came from a delicate chip from Jackichand Singh from the right. NorthEast goalkeeper TP Rehenesh failed to get a hand on the ball, which struck Corominas and rolled into the net. Replays showed that the Spanish striker might have got a hand as the ball made its way into the net.
Goa gained in confidence after the goal and Corominas’s second goal was a touch of class. The 34-year-old, took his time, made space at the edge of the area and unleashed a powerful shot; keeper Mohammad Nawaz at the near post could only get his fingertips on it. It was NorthEast who got the ball rolling, though. Eighteen-year-old Nawaz, 30 yards from his goal, rolled the ball forward. The referee had blown the whistle already and Uruguayan Federico Gallego’s dink found the back of the net as early as the eighth minute.
On the other side of the break, NorthEast showed more verve and intensity and were duly rewarded with the equaliser. Keegan Pereira floated in a gorgeous cross from the left-wing and Bartholomew Ogbeche’s header hit the roof of the net.
A rejuvenated NorthEast desperately pushed for a winner. Good link-up play between Rowlin Borges and Nikhil Kadam saw the latter through on goal, but his shot was well saved by Nawaz with his fingertips. A minute later, defender Mato Grgic’s header from a crowded area went narrowly wide of the past.
Fatigue took a toll on many of the players. Pereira and Jackichand had to be substituted after suffering niggles.