Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Mohun Bagan, Goa play out 1-1 draw


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MARGAO, Jan 17: FC Goa held ATK Mohun Bagan to a hard-fought 1-1 draw at the Fatorda Stadium in their ISL match on Sunday. Edu Garcia broke the deadlock for the Mariners and substitute Ishan Pandita scored the equaliser for Goa.
Both teams struck the crossbar in the first half but neither side could break the deadlock.
Garcia’s spectacular freekick in the second half gave ATK Mohun Bagan the lead but Pandita restored parity for Goa.
The first shot on target came after Carl McHugh lobbed a pass towards Prabir Das, who from the right got into the box and shot on target as Naveen Kumar made a good low save.
Garcia then took a corner from the right and found Subhasish Bose, whose header bounced up to the crossbar in the 27th minute. The goalkeeper safely collected the ball as it came off the crossbar.
Goa came close to going in front in the 30th minute when Brandon Fernandes spread the ball to his right for Seriton Fernandes.
The FC Goa fullback played it to Alberto Noguera outside the box and the Spaniard’s reverse ball went back to Seriton, whose cross from the right took a deflection and clipped the crossbar.
The Gaurs continued to press forward through Saviour Gama, who ran into the Mariners’ half from left back in the 36th minute.
He got close to the Mariners’ box and shot at goal as Arindam Bhattacharja got low and made a save for the teams to go into the break goalless.
Seriton hit the frame of the goal again five minutes into the second period when an attempted cross from the right hit the woodwork.
The Gaurs continued to pile on the pressure as the half wore on, but they struggled to find the back of the net.
Goa, in fact, dominated the ball for most of the second period but it was ATK Mohun Bagan that took the lead in the 75th minute thanks to a thunderous freekick from Garcia, who wrong-footed the goalkeeper with a powerful effort from the edge of the box.
The Gaurs upped the ante in the closing stages of the contest in search of a leveller and scored the equaliser in the 84th minute when Pandita found himself perfectly positioned to put the ball into the net after the ATK Mohun Bagan goalkeeper had kept out Goa’s initial effort from a corner.
The Mariners could have reestablished their lead a minute before regulation time but Manvir Singh’s header from a freekick ended up rattling the crossbar. Goa also had a couple of chances to win the match in injury time but both Saviour and Jorge Ortiz Mendoza failed to test the goalkeeper as the teams had to settle for a draw.
Saviour had a typically busy performance at the back for Goa. The Gaurs fullback got forward and was disciplined in defence. He was awaded the Hero of the Match award. (ISL)


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