The visitors could not defend their lead and had to settle for a stalemate.
NorthEast United began their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign with a 2-2 draw against visitors FC Goa on Monday. Federico Gallego opened NorthEast’s account after an interesting goof-up by the Goan goalkeeper. FC Goa were quick to reply as goal-machine Ferran Corominas broke through only four minutes later. The Highlanders played cautiously thereafter, but was unable to deny Coro a second time going into the interval.
Playing in their own den with a vocal crowd behind them, skipper Bartholomew Ogbeche netted home the equalizer, coincidentally on his birthday. Both sides went all out in search of a winner. However, brilliant saves and poor finishing on either side meant it ended all square.
Khel Now takes a look at the Indian players’ performance on Monday night.
Watch: NorthEast United 2-2 FC Goa highlights
NorthEast United FC
TP Rehenesh- 5.5
Bad coordination with the central defenders and Rehenesh was the scapegoat for the first goal conceded. It was quite an average show by the Highlanders’ shot-stopper who has been with the side all these years now.
Reagan Singh- 6.5
Showed promise, but was not tested much during the game. Would definitely be a player to look forward to as the season progresses. Singh had a passing accuracy of 82% against the Gaurs in his side’s opening game.
Keegan Periera- 6.0
Not used much in the first half. Pretty smart with his solo runs and elegant in feeding the ball into the box. Assisted Ogbeche in the 53rd minute with a well-timed cross from the left flank. Exciting player to look up to for the Highlanders this season.
Redeem Tlang- 6.5
An ever-present figure in the NEUFC midfield, he was vital in link-up the play with Federico Gallego.
Nikhil Kadam- 6.0
With the left wing being underutilized, Kadam was a passenger for much of the time. Showed promise in occasional runs and delivered pinpoint crosses into the box.
Rowllin Borges- 6.5
Pretty ordinary in the first 45 when he was held deep in the NEUFC half, dropping between the central defenders on most occasions. However, made up for his mistakes in the second half taking up a more advanced role as he changed positions with Jose Leudo. Did not shy away from taking on those venomous volleys and odd shots on target
Robert Lalthlamuana 6.0
Replaced Keegan Pereira on the hour mark. Always upto the task, no panicking; Made a couple of well-timed tackles to deny opposition progress.
Lalthathanga Khawlring N/A
Replaced Nikhil Kadam in the 88th minute.
Mohammad Nawaz- 6.5
Apart from an early first error in judgement, Nawaz was up to his task for most of the game. Saved a decent shot on goal by Rowllin Borges in the 75th minute, keeping the scoreline level.
Chinglensana Singh- 7.0
Instrumental in the Gaurs’ defence. made a great clearance in the crowded back four to help his team maintain the solitary goal lead at the end of the first half. Was as disciplined as always and combined well with Mourtada Fall manning the Goan defence.
Seriton Fernandes- 6.5
Manned the right corridor with great discipline. Denied Ogbeche a free shot on goal in the 37th minute. Was always behind Jackichand Singh receiving those layovers whenever required.
Lenny Rodrigues- 7.5
Brilliant on the ball. Combined well with Ahmed Jahouh as always to block NEUFC’s free march forward. Fed some brilliant through-balls by identifying vacant channels in the United midfield. A big thumbs up on the night.
Mandar Rao Desai- 6.0
Didn’t play up to his abilities. Was kept in check by Reagan Singh for most of the time. Taken off in the 89th minute.
Jackichand Singh- 7.5
A livewire as always, Jackichand was an ever-present on Goa’s right flank. It was a joy to watch the Manipuri speedster using all his flare to light up the Goan attack every time. The NEUFC backline had a hard time dealing with the winger. His involvement was cut short in the 80th minute due to an injury and he had to be stretchered off.
Liston Colaco N/A
Replaced Jakichand Singh (80th minute).
Manvir Singh N/A
Replaced Mandar Rao Desai in the 89th minute.