ISL 2017-18: FC Goa 2-2 NorthEast United FC - Gaurs and Highlanders share spoils in evenly contested battle
There would be no separating the two sides after a highly entertaining encounter at the Fatorda stadium...

FC Goa took the lead twice against NorthEast United FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Fatorda stadium on Saunday but were unable to get the three points as the match finished at 2-2. Corominas (53') and Mandar Rao Dessai (42') struck for the hosts while Marcinho (45') and John Mosquera (71') scored for the visitors.

Sergio Lobera slotted in 19-year-old Jonathan Cardozo in place of Seriton Fernandes who was suspended after being sent off in the 4-3 loss against Mumbai City FC. Ferran Corominas once against led the attack as Hugo Boumous made it to the bench while Mark Sifneos was excluded from the matchday squad.

With Nirmal Chettri also suspended on account of the four yellow cards he accumulated, Avram Grant moved Reagan Singh to the right and deployed Robert Lalthlamuana as left back in the only change for the visitors. Danilo Cezario continued in attack with Maic Sema and John Mosquera on the bench.

Manuel Lanzarote created an incisive opportunity for Corominas with a through ball in the third minute itself. However, Sambinha managed to deal with the threat well as the Spaniard's penalty plea was turned down by referee Rowan Arumughan.

Goa were forced into making an early change in the 13th minute as Manvir Singh was thrown in for Brandon Fernandes who went down clutching his right ankle.

Laxmikant Kattimani produced a reflex save to deny Marcinho in the 15th minute and then once again thwarted the Brazilian's header off Halicharan Narzary's cross in the 31st minute after Sergio Juste had comically played the ball back to Marcinho.

The home side were not completely void of chances and Ahmed Jahouh almost put the ball at the back of the net after Mandar Rao Dessai had set him up just outside the box. The Moroccan tried to chip it past Rehenesh TP but the ball didn't dip enough and came off the top left corner of the framework.

Mandar broke the deadlock with a lethal left-footer that blasted the back of the net in the 43rd minute, a result of a move from the right wherein Cardozo's cross deflected off Martin Diaz Pena.

NorthEast’s equaliser came almost instantly as Narzary's cross from the left bounced off the back of Cardozo and fell kindly for Marcinho to do the rest.

Less than 10 minutes in the second half, Goa regained their lead as Corominas converted from an inch-perfect Lazarote cross from the left wing. Much like their first goal, NorthEast's responded immediately through Narzary's shot on goal but Kattimani had it covered on this occasion.

They did however succeed in getting the equalizer a few minutes later. A well-worked move between Rowllin Borges and Seiminlen Doungel saw the latter pop into the box to square a cross to substitute John Mosquera who finished with aplomb in the 71st minute.

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Soon after, Corominas shot Lanzarote's pass straight into Rehenesh who gathered the ball on second attempt. At the other end, Lalrindika's attempt at goal from Mosquera's pass was saved by Kattimani.

FC Goa could have had a penalty when Sambinha made a tackle from behind to bring down Corominas who was released into the box by Edu Bedia in the 79th minute, but the referee paid no heed.

Despite both sides pushing for a winner, the match finished all square with the visitors remaining in the second-last spot in the league table while the hosts leapfrogged Kerala Blasters into sixth place.

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