FC Goa played out a highly entertaining 1-1 draw with Hyderabad FC in their Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 encounter at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday. (More Football News)
The result elevates the Nizams to second place in the points table after having dropped down to fourth owing to Chennaiyin FC’s win over Odisha FC earlier in the evening.
Joel Chianese (54th) scored his first goal of the season, sending HFC into the lead with a brilliant header but Airan Cabrera (62nd) equalised for Goa just after the hour mark.
The match started on a high tempo with both teams enjoying scoring opportunities early on. Amidst the high energy where tackles were flying in from both sets of players, Rohit Danu was the first to receive a yellow card on the night for a high boot in the 26th minute.
Moments later, Seriton Fernandes got a yellow as well for arguing with the referee. It was Joel Chianese's turn to receive a yellow after the half-hour mark for simulation inside FC Goa's box. With a few minutes to half-time, Joao Victor became the third HFC player to receive a yellow in the first 45-minutes.
A few moments later, Airan Cabrera found the back of the net after connecting with a sensational cross from Seriton, but the assistant referee adjudged him to be in an offside position and disallowed the goal.
The teams went into the half-time break on even terms. Post the resumption of the match, Asish Rai became the fourth HFC player to get a yellow card for a late challenge and an altercation with FC Goa players.
Joel Chianese then finally broke the deadlock by leaping and heading in a sensational cross from Nikhil Poojary, six minutes before the hour mark.
Eight minutes later, Airan Cabrera equalized for FC Goa after Devendra Murgaonkar's shot hit the right post and landed at the striker’s feet. He made no mistake in slotting the ball inside the net with the goalkeeper out of his position. Alberto Noguera and Sanson Pereira got a yellow card each in the second half.
At the 82nd minute mark, the Nizams were dealt a major blow following the departure of influential full-back Rai, who could not continue due to an injury. Bartholomew Ogbeche became the fifth HFC player to receive a yellow card for reacting aggressively to a foul.
Laxmikant Kattimani then rescued his side with a sublime save from his fingertips, keeping out Noguera's late attempt. Four minutes were added but there was no separating the two sides which shared the points on an eventful night.
Hyderabad FC will now face bottom-placed East Bengal at the Athletic Stadium on Thursday while FC Goa are up against Odisha FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Friday.