An early penalty miss, a superb finish, a red card and an all important equaliser summed matchday 75 at the Fatorda which ended in a stalemate.
The Kolkata Giants were gifted an opportunity to take the lead with just 19 seconds into the first half as Narayan Das was brought down into the box and the official pointed to the spot. But, the scoreline remained the same as Anthony Pilkington missed the target altogether.
FC Goa started doing what they do best. The Gaurs started playing free flowing attacking football and Igor Angulo made the first move for an opener but Debjit Majumdar made his presence felt and saved their Spaniards effort. In the 24th minute, Angulo yet again forced Debjit to make a save and Debjit did well.
Four minutes later, SC East Bengal’s new signing Bright Enobakhare ran into the box and his cutback found Anthony Pilkington but his less powered finished was well cleared by the Gaurs.
Hitting the crossbar has become an usual visual in the Hero ISL and tonight it was Jorge Ortiz who went on to hit the crossbar in the 37th minute. FC Goa accepted their chance to go ahead in the tie with open arms as Igor Angulo scored his 10th goal of the season and put his side in front.
Robbie Fowler’s instructions at halftime were motivating enough as SC East Bengal began the second 45 with a different intent. FC Goa were forced to defend as the Kolkata Giants were looking for an equaliser. East Bengal did get an equaliser as Danny Fox put his side back into the game as he scored his first goal since 2012.
Edu Bedia received his fourth yellow card of the season early in the second half and got himself into trouble with a reckless tackle on Pilkington. The Gaurs’ skipper was sent off and FC Goa were down to 10 men. Harmanpreet Singh had the opportunity to put his side in front in the 75th minute but his shot on target was saved by Goa’s new Gaurdian Dheeraj Singh.
SC East Bengal kept on pushing themselves to get an all important winner but FC Goa’s defense stood stall and did not allow them with any space. Hermanpreet almost got his name on the scoresheet but Dheeraj made sure he comes at rescue and the match ended in 1-1 draw at the Fatorda.
Hero of the Match – Bright Enobakhare
Bright Enobakhare was on another level against the Gaurs and was undoubtedly the stand out performer on the pitc. The Nigerian smartly used his pace and trickery to dribble past opponents. He even created a chance and won four fouls for his side.