FC Goa hold ATKMB to 1-1 draw

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Margao: A late equaliser by youngster Ishan Pandita helped FC Goa play out a 1-1 draw against ATK Mohun Bagan in an Indian Super League match here on Sunday.

Substitute Pandita’s goal came in the 85th minute after a 75th-minute free-kick strike from Edu Garcia had put ATKMB ahead.

Both the teams played an exciting and evenly fought match, trading missed opportunities.

The first half played itself out in predictable terms. FC Goa dominated possession — they had 62 per cent of the ball in that period — and sprayed passes around the pitch while ATKMB maintained their shape and ensured their opponents did not get many clear chances.

Both the sides, however, managed to find the crossbar in the opening half.

ATKMB went close in the 27th minute off a corner by Garcia. His delivery was headed into the ground by Subasish Bose. The ball bounced and looped over FC Goa keeper Naveen Kumar’s head. Unfortunately for ATKMB, it struck the crossbar and bounced back into play.

FC Goa returned the favour just four minutes later when Seriton Fernandes and Alberto Noguera played a quick one-two, before sending the former free on the right flank.

Seriton looked to square the ball but was unable to find a teammate in the area. That moment of hesitation allowed Sandesh Jhingan to get a foot on the ball but the deflection took it over ATKMB keeper Arindam Bhattacharja and on to the crossbar.

FC Goa started looking more threatening after that. In the 36th minute, Bhattacharja was called into action, to stop a Saviour Gama shot.

FC Goa nearly scored soon after the restart. In the 50th minute, Seriton ran free down the right and looped a cross into the box, that eluded everyone. The ball crashed into the inside of the upright but somehow did not find the net.

Six minutes later, Bhattacharja was alerted again to save a deflected shot from Brandon Fernandes.

It was Juan Ferrando’s men who were running the show after half time, but then, against the run of play, ATKMB found a goal.

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