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Gallego brace helps NorthEast hold Goa to 2-2 draw

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Vasco (Goa), Feb 4 (IANS) Federico Gallego scored twice as NorthEast United held FC Goa to a 2-2 draw in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Thursday.

Goa opened the scoring through Alexander Jesuraj in 21st minute before NorthEast netted the equaliser through a penalty from Gallego in the 41st minute. Goa took the lead again through an own goal from Gurjinder Kumar in the 80th minute but Gallego scored just three minutes later to level the score a second time.

Goa started bright and broke the deadlock in the 21st minute. Jorge Ortiz got to the byline after making a brilliant run and his cutback found Alberto Noguera outside the box. The latter laid the ball towards Jesuraj who scored with a simple tap-in to hand Goa the lead.

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NorthEast eventually grew into the game and fashioned better chances in the second quarter of the opening half. They had a penalty claim denied after the half-hour mark.

However, their efforts would pay off soon as they won a penalty towards the end of the first half. The referee pointed to the spot after Luis Machado was tripped in the box by Noguera. Gallego sent Goa goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh the wrong way to restore parity for NorthEast.

NorthEast were the better team for much of the second half but Goa began to assert themselves towards the last 10 minutes of normal time. They would take the lead through a set-piece situation.

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Ortiz whipped in a teasing cross from a corner towards Amarjit Singh who managed to get his header on target after beating Khassa Camara. Gurjinder made his best efforts to clear the ball away on the touchline but ended up conceding an own goal.

However, similar to the first half, there was drama again as NEUFC won a second penalty. Gallego again was at the heart of the move as he found Ashutosh Mehta on the right flank, who was fouled by Ivan Gonzalez in the box.

Gallego stepped up to take the penalty again and while Dheeraj managed to block the shot, the ball trickled past him over the goal line.

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–IANS

rkm/qma

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