Margao, November 29, 2020 (IANS): Striker Diego Mauricio came off the bench and scored twice, including a stunner in stoppage time, to help Odisha FC comeback and draw 2-2 against Jamshedpur after trailing 2-0 in the first half an hour of the match.
Mauricio was brought on in the 60th minute in place of Manuel Onwu as Odisha were pushing to halve the lead that Jamshedpur had on them.
The pressure soon paid off as Jamshedpur goalkeeper Rehenesh got sent off for handling the ball outside of his box. It meant that Jamshedpur had to take off Jackichand Singh to accommodate the new goalkeeper.
While Odisha’s goal did not come directly from the ensuing free kick, Mauricio put it in after a scramble inside the box after the kick was taken.
Odisha FC comeback against Jamshedpur
While Jamshedpur had a chance through a free kick of their own shortly thereafter, Odisha kept the pressure up. It was only in the 91st minute of the game that Mauricio cut to his right after he was allowed to turn on the left hand side of the box before launching a shot to the far post.
It was quite a different story in the early exchanges of the first half with Jamshedpur keeping the ball near Odisha’s ball.
They were given a penalty in the 12th minute due to a hand ball and Nerijus Valskis made no mistake with the spot kick.
Valskis doubled the lead in the 27th minute after a defensive howler from Shubham Sarangi gave him the ball and he put it past the goalkeeper with aplomb.
Goa looking for first win of the season against solid NorthEast
FC Goa will be looking for their first win of the seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday against a NorthEast United side who come into the game with a win and a draw in their first two matches.
FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando has ensured that the team stuck to their attacking philosophy in their first two games but they have thus far failed to get three points.
NorthEast, with their aggressive approach and strong wingers with good dribbling skills, won’t be an easy side to play.
“It’s important to take control. And we have a plan for the game. It”s important to have it. I can’t explain it but you can watch it tomorrow,” said the 39-year-old Spaniard.
In their last five meetings, NorthEast have failed to record a single win against Goa, losing thrice and drawing two.
Coach Gerard Nus has seen his side upsetting a star-studded Mumbai City before coming from behind and stealing a point against Kerala Blasters. Their defensive duo of Benjamin Lambot and Dylan Fox have been exceptional so far.
“The mood is high and the players are excited about the performances in the first two games. There are a lot of things we can improve as individuals and also as a team,” said Nus.
“But the most important is tomorrow’s game which will be a massive challenge for us and we need to understand that at the end of the day. FC Goa won the regular season last year and we shouldn’t forget that.”
Like Ferrando, Nus also stressed on the importance of taking control of the game. “The team that controls most of the game is the one that creates chances to win it. To create more chances than the opponents and to stop the opponents from creating chances (is what we aim to do),” he said.