FC Goa were held to a 1-1 draw by FC Pune City at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, as two second half goals forced the teams to share the spoils.
FC Pune City defender Roger Johnson became the second Pune City player in the second edition of the Hero Indian Super League to score an own goal but India international Eugeneson Lyngdoh leveled it up for the Stallions.
FC Goa had a first crack at goal through Mandar Rao Dessai on the fifth minutes into the game but it was Roger Johnson who made a goal line clearance to stop the Guars from taking the lead five minutes later after Leo Moura through ball split open the Punea s defence.
Thongkhosiem Haokip, also known as Semboi, produced an exquisite touch that matched Mouraa s pass to beat an out-rushing Steven Simonsen but a last-ditched sliding clearance by Johnson denied Goa.
Joaquim Abranches was next in line to have a go at the Pune City defence in the 19th minute, but was narrowly wide as Goa grew in confidence. Dessai beat Simonsen but hit Punea s crossbar minutes later with the Gaurs absolutely dominating proceedings.
FC Pune City waited till the 36th minute, as Kalu Uche made a cheeky attempt to catch out the goalkeeper with a back-heel. Tuncay Sanli was next to test FC Goa, as Nicky Shorey freekick was headed wide by Sanli.
Goa took the lead immediately after the restart. Jonatan Lucca put in a dangerous ball across Punea s six-yard box with Romeo Fernandes shooting across the face of goal from the right. Johnson, who made a goal-line clearance in the first period, stuck a leg out and netted into his own goal as the home team finally got their noses in front.
Uche almost drew level for FC Pune City two minutes later but he hit the goalpost. Lenny Rodrigues was next to have a pop at the Goa goal as the visitors upped the tempo in search of an equalizer. Goa should have been 2-0 up in the 59th minute but keeper Simonsen was in inspired form and saved from Dessai first which led to a corner. The resulting corner saw the Englishman save another (from a Luciano Sobrosa header), leading to another corner. The Goans were relentless as Lucio headed the following corner straight at the Pune keepera s grateful hands to finally avert the danger.
FC Pune City made Goa pay for missing their string of chances four minutes later when Lyngdoh found himself on the end of a cross by substitute Wesley Verhoek. Lyngdoha s towering header gave FC Goaa s keeper no chance as the Stallions made it 1-1.
It was end-to-end stuff from here on as both sides went on in search of a winner. Dessai put in a wicked cut-back from the left that could have easily ended up in goal, had any of his team-mates making a run into the box held their runs. While Jackichand Singh nearly made it 2-1 for the visitors by firing in a curler after cutting in from the left.
Both sides tried to clinch all three points in the four minutes of additional time, however, the score remained at 1-1 as FC Pune City consolidated their top spot, while FC Goa moved up to third.
Image Courtesy: ISL Media