(Football news) Odisha FC’s ambitions to reach the semi-finals suffered a huge setback as they drew 1-1 against FC Goa at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim. Goals from Jonathas (61’ P) and a last-minute equaliser from Romario (90+5’) meant that both the teams were forced to share the spoils of the match, thereby preventing Odisha FC from rising to fifth place in the league table while FC Goa continued their winless streak to five matches.
Right after the kick off, it was a surprisingly open game between the two teams and even though FC Goa had the majority of possession, they failed to create clear cut chances. Airan Cabrera managed to get behind Odisha FC’s defence at the quarter of the hour but failed to hit the target. For Odisha, Liridon Krasniqi had a great opportunity to score but his effort was denied by goalkeeper Naveen Kumar.
Right after the drinks break, Edu Bedia’s effort was saved by Arshdeep Singh and Princeton Rebello thought he had broken the deadlock, only to be denied by Thoiba Singh’s goal saving block inside the box. It was clear that a moment of brilliance would be required for either side to find a breakthrough as both teams ended the first half without scoring a goal.
After the restart, Aridai Cabrera had a penalty call denied by the referee after a possible handball infringement inside the box. The striker shot past the goalkeeper but was denied by a defender, who seemingly used his hand to stop the shot. However, at the hour mark the Kalinga Warriors were awarded a penalty after Javier Hernandez was tripped by Alberto Noguera inside the box. Jonathas aimed the ball at the top left corner from the spot and found the back of the net. Odisha FC could have doubled their advantage through Jerry Mawihmingthanga but his chip hit the crossbar.
Heading into the last stage of the match, Derrick Pereira made several changes hoping to get an equaliser and salvage a point. With four minutes added on, FC Goa pushed for a goal and were finally rewarded as Romario scored a header in the final minute of added time and helped his side secure a vital draw from a losing position. Odisha FC will face bottom-placed SC East Bengal in their next fixture at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Monday, 7th February while FC Goa will take on Chennaiyin FC on Thursday, 10th February at the same venue.