A 96th-minute header from Manvir Singh allowed FC Goa to steal a point away from home against NorthEast United in an action-packed fixture at Guwahati which ended 2-2 after 90 minutes. FC Goa took the lead in the first half. The home side hit back two consecutive goals in the second half to leap ahead only to concede moments before the full time whistle to share the spoils.
The game began on a very positive note for FC Goa. The Gaurs opted for route-one from the word go. The Gaurs were using both the flanks at tandem and had several half-chances in the initial exchanges. The home side were forced to sit back and defend until they got going.
FC Goa came close to scoring in the 16th minute when a delightful ball from Ahmed Jahouh allowed Corominas to break through the NorthEast United defence who played Hugo Boumous through on goal. Boumous had Komorski to battle out with and did manage to dispatch a shot from a narrow angle. But his shot rattled the woodwork and came back into play.
NorthEast United gradually kept going and had few chances of their own as well. However, FC Goa opened the floodgates against the run of play in the 30th minute. A defence-splitting ball had Hugo Boumous clear of the NorthEast United defence. Subhasish Roy Chowdhary came-off his line in haste, allowing Boumous to round up the goal-keeper and knock the ball in an empty net.
After the first goal, NorthEast United shifted gears and came close to scoring in smaller and regular intervals in the last few minutes of the first half. NorthEast United had a golden opportunity to cancel out the Hugo Boumous goal when Mourtada Fall gave away possession to Asamoah Gyan who had enough space and time to set himself up to shoot but instead had a hurried attempt on goal which allowed Nawaz to latch on to the ball.
The Highlanders almost scored again in the 42nd minute. A lofted ball fell to Redeem Tlang in front of an empty goal but a desperate last-ditch lunge from Mourtada Fall somehow kept the score 0-1 in favour of the Gaurs at the break.
NorthEast United began the second-half with purpose as well. They were rewarded in the 53rd minute when a brilliant defence-splitting ball from Jose Leudo allowed Asamoah Gyan to score from a narrow-angle and make it 1-1. FC Goa did come back into the game with few chances but never really looked settled enough. The Gaurs had the chance to get their lead back when a cross from Jackichand Singh almost found Corominas and Hugo Boumous inside the box but for the pace of the cross-in.
NorthEast United eventually got the lead for the first time in the game when a counter-attacking move saw Martin Chaves set up Redeem Tlang on a platter who finished the chance-off with a clinical first-touch finish in the 72nd minute. NorthEast United looked all set to cruise and win the game. However, the momentum of the home side took a hit when a brawl between the players led to Seiminlen Doungel being sent-off in the 94th Minute.
Moments later, substitute Manvir Singh who had only come a few minutes earlier, headed home the unprecedented equaliser from a set-piece to break the hearts of the 17,000 fans in the venue. The game ended 2-2 after 90 minutes.
FC Goa and NorthEast United stay at 3rd and 4th respectively with this result. The Highlanders next travel to Hyderabad on 6 November while the Gaurs travel to Andheri Sports Complex on 7 November.