NorthEast United FC and FC Goa on Monday shared a thrilling 2-2 draw in their Indian Super League opener at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati.
Spanish forward Ferran Corominas scored a brace for Goa while Uruguay’s Federico Gallego and Bartholomew Ogbeche of Nigeria scored for NorthEast in a neck-and-neck clash.
An error by Goa's 18-year-old goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz, in his debut ISL appearance, gifted NorthEast an early lead.
In the 8th minute, Nawaz had handled the ball on the edge of the box, believing that Bartholomew Ogbeche was offside. The referee, however, awarded a free-kick, for a handball, to the hosts. Federico Gallego then caught Nawaz off-guard, who was yards outside the box, with a quick chip into an empty net.
However, Goa soon profited by an error by NorthEast FC goalkeeper TP Rehenesh. The custodian failed to clear Jackichand Singh's floated cross as Ferran found himself in the right place at the right time to tap the ball in.
Goa continued to attack and nearly had a lead through Jackichand's twin strikes. His first attempt was clawed away for a corner while the second missed the target by a whisker, bouncing just over the woodwork.
A terrible scramble by Hugo Bomous in the 38th minute allowed Ferran to sprint into the box. Ferran beat two defenders and fired a stunner into the bottom right corner to bag his second goal of the match.
After the break, NorthEast equalised on the back of Ogbeche. In the 53rd minute, Keegan Pereira found Ogbeche at close range with a precise cross and the latter opened his account with a sharp header.
Both Goa and NorthEast FC came close to taking the lead but failed to convert their chances up front and had to settle for a draw.
(With Agency inputs)