The 75th match of the Hero Indian Super League resulted in a 1-1 draw between FC Goa and SC East Bengal. After their first-half lead, the Gaurs were a man short halfway through the second half as Edu Bedia was given the marching orders, but they persisted well to diminish the one-man deficit and not let the Red and Golds score a winner.
The Fatorda Stadium was well prepared for a great match between these two sides after their previous reverse fixture saw a 1-1 draw. Today’s match started off dramatically, as the Red and Golds were offered a golden opportunity in the first half itself. Mohamed Ali, the rookie FC Goa defender was caught clipping the feet of Narayan Das inside the box and the referee did not hesitate in rewarding SC East Bengal a penalty.
But in a rather astonishing turn of events, Anthony Pilkington could not convert the opportunity. It was a bizarre penalty shot, simply off target from point-blank and SC East Bengal are aghast at this effort. It was probably the focal point when the game went away from them as the Gaurs seemed to dominate the rest of the first half while the Red and Golds seemed to shine in short intervals. Igor Angulo fired in a shot on target only to be saved by the keeper just 5 minutes into the first half. Alexander Jesuraj and Edu Bedia troubled SC East Bengal with their attacking plays and their shots went just off target from the Red and Golds’ keeper Debjit Majumder.
The Red and Golds too fought back and played some good football in patches. Pilkington’s corner went totally out of grip for FC Goa goal-keeper Dheeraj Singh and went to Saviour Gama but his miskick at the face of the goal resulted in an easy clearance. Another golden opportunity missed for the Red and Golds.
After forcing a quality save from Debjit Majumder, the Gaurs finally had their goal from Igor Angulo. It was a poor display of defending by SC East Bengal as they had left the danger-man unmarked. Alberto Noguera sent in a fine through ball for him and he made no mistake in slotting the ball in for a glorious goal.
The second half led to some physical football for us to witness as both sides committed fouls. But the equaliser came in the 65th minute as SC East Bengal skipper Daniel Fox cunningly slotted in a goal from a close-range effort. Anthony Pilkington’s freekick was spot-on as it landed in the box and Daniel Fox did the rest with pleasure.
Almost immediately after there was a second booking for Edu Bedia and a resultant send-off. A nasty sliding tackle on Pilkington and it was it for the referee’s patience. The rest of the match went on without troubling the scorers and apart from a few glimpses of brilliant play from Bright Enobakhare, there were no other major scoring opportunities. In the dying moments, Harmanpreet Singh created a brilliant chance, but Dheeraj Singh was alert enough to keep the ball away from danger.
The match ended with nothing to separate between the sides. The Red and Golds would be bitterly disappointed with their missed penalty, as that could’ve been the deciding factor in the game.
Hero of the Match: Bright Enobakhare
The Club Award was shared between the teams as they ended in a 1-1 draw and the award for the Hero of the Match went to Bright Enobakhare as he had a terrific performance with the ball today. The DHL Winning Pass of the Match was awarded to Alberto Noguera for his brilliant assist.
With this draw, SC East Bengal is at the 10th position in the table, with 13 points from 14 matches. They are going to play their next match against Bengaluru FC on 2nd February. FC Goa is in a better position, as they are now 3rd in the table, with 21 points from 14 matches. They are going to face NorthEast United in their next match on 4th February.