FC Goa fought back to secure a 1-1 draw against SC East Bengal in Match 49 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Wednesday. The Gaurs were sharp in creating their chances but some brave goalkeeping by SC East Bengal custodian Debjit Majumder ensured his side stayed in the game till the final whistle was blown.
James Donachie was close to scoring the opener for the Gaurs from a pinpoint freekick delivered by Brandon Fernandes. The Australian defender’s header was on target and needed a hand from Debjit to deny the Gaurs in the fifth minute.
SC East Bengal soaked up pressure well and almost broke the deadlock in the 28th minute. A long throw from Raju Gaikwad was headed wide by Daniel Fox. A few moments later a cross from Narayan Das was met by the head of Aaron Amadi-Holloway but his effort went just over the crossbar.
Debjit was tested again in the 36th minute as he parried away a long-range effort from Jorge Ortiz Mendoza. A couple of minutes later a second attempt from distance from Saviour Gama was also saved by the Indian shot-stopper.
FC Goa kept their chances coming but Debjit maintained his solidity between the sticks. In the 43rd minute, Edu Bedia’s freekick brought out yet another great save from Debjit. Saviour’s deflected shot a few minutes later was again pushed away by the custodian.
Ortiz forced a save from Debjit in the first minute of the second half after cutting in from the left and taking a shot on goal. In the 56th minute, SC East Bengal lost their skipper Fox after a challenge from the defender on FC Goa winger Alexander Jesuraj was deemed reckless by the officials.
Although a man down, the Kolkata-based club worked hard to keep themselves in the game. They had an opportunity to score on the counter-attack after Matti Steinmann won the ball in the midfield and made a forward run. The German midfielder skipped past a couple of Goa players but his shot missed the target.
Bright Enobakhare finally broke the deadlock and opened the scoring in the 79th minute for SC East Bengal after displaying brilliant skills to beat four FC Goa players and finding the back of the net. However, their lead did not last for long.
FC Goa substitute Devendra Murgaonkar equalised almost immediately to score his first goal in the Hero ISL. The young attacker headed in a cross from Saviour to restore parity for the Gaurs in the 81st minute. FC Goa tried hard but failed to secure the late winner.
The Gaurs retain their place in the top four after this draw, while SC East Bengal are now unbeaten in four matches and move ahead of Kerala Blasters FC into seventh on the points table.
ISL Media Release