FC Goa came back from 0-2 down to secure a point against Kerala Blasters FC who extended their unbeaten run to eight matches as an entertaining Hero Indian Super League (ISL) affair between the two teams ended in a 2-2 draw at the Tilak Maidan stadium in Vasco, Goa on Sunday.
All the goals came in the first half as Jeakson Singh (10’) and Adrian Luna (20’) gave the Blasters a 2-0 lead. But the Gaurs came storming back in the contest as Jorge Ortiz (24’) and Edu Bedia (38’) levelled the match at 2-2 going into the break. The second half saw chances for either team but neither could make it count as the points were split.
Ivan Vukomanovic’s side started the better of the two teams, bossing the possession and creating chances, the first of which fell to Sahal Abdul Samad who already has scored four goals this season. Alvaro Vazquez played the Indian through on the right side but he couldn’t keep his shot on target in the 6th minute.
Four minutes later, Kerala Blasters FC broke through from a Luna corner which was converted through a near-post header from Jeakson who managed to steal a march on his marker.
FC Goa had a response after the early Kerala Blasters FC goal and Glan Martins was inches away from equalising when he shot from range in the 19th minute.
However, at the other end, Luna showed how it’s done as he ran into space from the left-hand side and scored through an outrageous long-range effort that dipped in time to beat Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem in the FC Goa goal a minute later.
However, just when it seemed that the Blasters would run away with it after being 2-0 up, Ortiz pulled one back for the Gaurs after he received the ball from Saviour Gama, turned and finished past the goalkeeper in the 24th minute.
The game opened up after the FC Goa goal and Sahal should have restored his team’s two-goal lead when he was fed with a header at the centre of the box but he put his header over with just the goalkeeper to beat.
Edu Bedia then made Kerala Blasters FC pay for the missed chance as he scored directly from a corner that curled in at the far post in the 38th minute.
The game got heated up after FC Goa’s fightback as Glen Martins and Jorge Diaz were booked for being involved in a scuffle before the half-time whistle that brought an end to a thrilling first half.
The Gaurs put the ball in the back of the net in the 49th minute through Devendra Murgaonkar but the strike was ruled out for offside.
FC Goa were then denied a stonewall penalty in the 57th minute when Ortiz was fouled inside the box but the referee instead decided to book the Spaniard for diving, a decision that was not well received by the FC Goa midfielder.
The Blasters then had a chance to regain the lead when Chencho Gyeltshen got in a scoring position but failed to sort his feet allowing Dheeraj Singh to clear the danger in the 66th minute.
FC Goa ended the game as the stronger side with Murgaonkar squandering a chance in the 75th minute when he fired his shot from a cross straight at Prabhsukhan Gill. The Gaurs were then unlucky not to score 12 minutes later when Bedia fired a free-kick that kissed the crossbar before going out.
There were no goals in the second half as the match ended in a draw.
The point takes Kerala Blasters FC into third place above Jamshedpur FC while FC Goa stay ninth.
Vukomanovic’s men play next Sunday when they face Hyderabad FC while the Gaurs are back in action a day earlier.