The caravan of ISL 5 went from Kolkata to Bengaluru to Guwahati now, as FC Goa visited the Gateway of Northeast India to take on Northeast United FC. Eelco Schattorie and Sergio Lobera both played out a 4-2-3-1 formation with Bartholomew Ogbeche and Ferran Corominas being the lone man up front for their respective teams.
The deadlock had been broken in the 8th-minute itself when a massive misunderstanding from FC Goa goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz awarded Northeast United FC the lead. The 18-year-old had come out of his box to collect the ball, thinking the whistle was blown for an offside. However, the referee instead gave a foul to the visitors as the goalkeeper had collected the ball outside the ball. Mohammad Nawaz, innocently, had let the ball loose and Federico Gallego pounced on the chance and guided the ball towards the back of an empty net.
The joy was short-lived as Coro equalized for FC Goa six minutes later courtesy of a wonderful cross through Jackichand Singh from the left wing. Jackichand Singh could have put FC Goa in the front foot at the 26th minute twice, but both the time his shot failed to hit the target. Nonetheless, Coro had done the job for the visitors at the 39th minute as his clinical finish left TP Rehenesh no chance whatsoever.
After coming from the tunnel, the home team found themselves back in the game at the 53rd minute. Keegan Pereira had sent in a dangerous looking cross and Ogbeche got an opportunity for a free header due to miscommunication between the center-backs. The birthday boy made no error and slotted the ball home from a hand-shaking distance.
Northeast United FC continued to mount pressure on the visitors with some fine display of possession football. The Highlanders could have taken the lead at the 66th minute from a Nikhil Kadam screamer, or at the 75th minute from a Rowlin Borges shot. However, Mohammad Nawaz didn’t let the past haunt him and averted the danger with his brilliant goalkeeping skills.
Northeast United FC had continued to pile the pressure on the visitors, but couldn’t find the back of the net as the referee blew the final whistle. Northeast United FC will travel to Kolkata to face ATK on the 4th of October whereas FC Goa will take a voyage to Chennai to face the defending champions.