The Highlanders came from behind twice to share the spoils with the Gaurs in the home fixture.
NorthEast United FC contested a 2-2 stalemate with FC Goa in the ISL 2022/23 on Sunday at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati. Edu Bedia began the proceedings for the visitors after Brandon Fernandes found him and he finished responsibly. Later, Sanson’s handball at the brink of half-time meant Wilmar Jordan stepped up to convert the resultant penalty emphatically. The second half story was no different as Carlos Pena’s men shelled out a variety of combinations in an effort to break down Vincenzo Annese’s Highlanders.
This time Noah was fouled by Mirshad Michu as the custodian mistimed his challenge. Iker Guarrtoxena snatched the opportunity with a well-placed spot-kick and NorthEast was behind once again. Only six minutes afterwards, Fares Arnaout committed his only blemish which would go on to cost Goa two more points. His foul on Pragyan Gogoi inside the box gave away another golden chance to Jordan who converted it once again. The Colombian was rightly named man of the match as the two sides walked away with a point each.
Let us take a look at how the others fared in Khel Now’s player ratings for the night:
NorthEast United FC
Mirshad Michu – 6
Made four vital saves but a silly decision-making error cost his side as he conceded from the resultant spot-kick.
Alex Saji- 6
Was more or less active in defence as he rarely got forward and instead won one tackle and made three interceptions.
Gaurav Bora – 5.5
Committed two fouls and went into the book as he lost possession five times on a personally dismal outing.
Aaron Evans – 6.5
Made up for his Indian counterpart as he was loud at the back with his 100% aerial duel win rate and eight clearances.
Hira Mondal – 6.5
Fitted into Vincenzo Annese’s park-the-bus and counterplay tactics well as he defended like a beast and won his only aerial battle and four of his sis ground duels.
Emil Benny – 7
Took advantage of Pena’s two-man anchor system as he popped up in the half-spaces and gave his fellow midfielders more room to operate. Benny created one big chance and completed two key passes in total.
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Ion Gaztanaga – 6.5
Harsh tackling saw the referee put his name into the book but his ability to switch play was unmatched as he completed eight out of 13 long balls.
Pragyan Sundar Gogoi – 6.5
Advanced forward often and eventually got NorthEast United their second penalty as Fares Arnaout brought him down inside the box. Gogoi still has work to do as he lost six of his eight ground duels.
Kule Mbombo – 6
FC Goa forwards was ineffective in 66 minutes of action as he got on the ball only 13 times and was rightly subbed off for Romain Phillipoteaux.
Wilmar Jordan – 8
Converted the Highlanders’ penalty with aplomb as he stroked it down the middle and left Dheeraj scrambling. Got a 100% shot conversion accuracy as he converted the second penalty equally efficiently to get the Highlanders a crucial point.
Jithin MS- 6
Missed a golden chance as Dheeraj was called into action after Benny’s laser-guided pass found him with acres of space. Went off in the 63rd minute for Roccharzela having lost possession nine times.
Romain Phillipoteaux- 6
Made one key pass from only 13 touches on the ball but did not do anything significant after coming on.
Roccharzela – N/A
Dheeraj Singh – 6
Made a good save to deny Jithin after conceding from Jordan’s spot-kick.
Sanson Pereira – 5.5
Sole reason behind the first equaliser was his inattentiveness led to Anwar’s headed ball hitting him in the arm. Went into the book and was dribbled past four times as he was tactfully subbed off for Saviour Gama in the 62nd minute.
Anwar Ali – 6.5
Vigilant at the back as he played on the front foot, winning his only aerial and ground duel. He also bombed forward in the later stages as an extra frontman to help out his teammates.
Fares Arnaout – 6
Would’ve capped off a solid showing if not for his foul on Pragyan Gogoi which led to another penalty.
Aiban Dohling – 6.5
Winning 50% of his ground duels could not really put him on the map for FC Goa as his only other defensive engagement was an interception. However, he was effective going forward with a 91% passing accuracy, three key passes and two accurate crosses.
Ayush Dev Chhetri – 6.5
The young prodigy played 83 minutes of no-nonsense football. He helped Bedia, Guarrotxena and Brandon run rings around NorthEast United’s midfield as he won both of his ground duels and completed his only take-on.
Edu Bedia – 7
FC Goa’s opening goal scorer got a whopping 87 touches on the ball and got two shots on target and one blocked. Mixed outing for the Spaniard as he saw yellow and scored the opener for the Gaurs.
Redeem Tlang – 6
Toothless performance from the winger saw him play just over an hour of football as Carlos Pena took him off for Devendra Dhaku Murgaonkar in the 62nd minute.
Iker Guarrotxena – 7
Calmly slotted the ball into the top right corner of Mirshad Michu’s goal as it was the highlight of his performance on a comfortable evening for the Gaurs. A 100% take-on completion accuracy and two out of three long balls completed summed up his evening.
Brandon Fernandes – 6.5
Missed a golden opportunity in the first half which was not really his fault as he slipped while taking it. Assisted Edu Bedia’s opener in splendid fashion as he made a total of five key passes.
Noah Sadaoui – 6.5
Did his fair share of off-the-ball and off-shoulder running for the Gaurs for 83 minutes and was instrumental in winning a spot-kick.
Alvaro Vazquez – N/A
Brison Fernandes- N/A
Saviour Gama – 6.5
Once again, should’ve been brought on sooner given Sanson’s appalling outing as he made three tackles and was only dribbled past twice.
Devendra Dhaku Murgaonkar – 6
Was not too influential in the 28 minutes of action that he contested in.