Vasco (Goa), Jan 6 (IANS) Bright Enobakhare’s extraordinary solo goal for 10-man East Bengal on Wednesday was cancelled out just over a minute later by Devendra Murgaonkar for FC Goa as the two teams played out a dramatic 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan stadium here.
The otherwise cagey match exploded to life in the last 15 minutes as Goa scrambled to avoid losing despite East Bengal’s Daniel Fox receiving a red card in the 56th minute.
Goa dominated the first half, keeping possession and creating chances but couldn’t find a way as neither sides were able to break the deadlock. While Goa keeper Mohammad Nawaz was hardly tested, SCEB keeper Debjit Majumder was instrumental for his side, pulling off four crucial saves.
The first big chance of the game came in the fourth minute for Goa after Scott Neville tripped Jorge Ortiz Mendoza. Brandon Fernandes took the free-kick and swung a teasing cross at the far post for James Donachie, whose header was parried away by Majumder.
Goa continued to play in the opposition half after that early chance but East Bengal defended resolutely despite being on the backfoot. However, the Red and Golds also missed two back-to-back chances to grab the lead around the half-hour mark through set-pieces.
Aaron Amadi-Holloway first missed an open header from a free-kick. A minute later, East Bengal won a throw-in, and Raju Gaikwad found an unmarked Daniel Fox at the far post, who failed to keep his shot on target.
Goa continued to pile on the pressure on their opponents after the change of ends. But East Bengal’s hopes of grabbing control of the game suffered a huge blow when Fox was sent off in the 56th minute. The East Bengal captain received his marching orders for a rough challenge on Alexander Jesuraj.
Despite the man-advantage, a defensive error from Goa almost gifted East Bengal the lead. Matti Steinmann pounced on a sloppy pass from Princeton Rebello and made his way into the box before firing his shot wide. Fowler’s side soon made amends for the missed opportunity as they scored the opener.
Enobakhare displayed a moment of magic and made his way into the box beating four markers before placing his shot into the bottom corner, finishing off a stunning solo goal. But Goa soon drew parity as East Bengal’s defence was caught napping. Saviour Gama delivered a cross at the near post and Murgaonkar rose high to put Goa on level terms. Both sides continued to hunt for the winner but in the end, settled for a draw.