Hernan Santana’s delightful free-kick failed to give Northeast United FC a win as FC Goa held a 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Friday.
Santana took a turn on a superb free-kick in the second minute of the game but Aaron Cabrera’s goal in the 39th minute helped Goa draw the level. No goals were scored in the second half, meaning Goa finished eighth with 13 points from 11 games while Northeast United finished 10th with nine points from 11 games.
Northeast United departed for a flying start courtesy of Santana’s personal brilliance. The 31-year-old Spaniard took a turn in a fun free-kick at a nearby post and patiently left Moirangtham without a chance as the ball penetrated through the crossbar.
It was a crazy start to the game and Northeast United only needed an early push. Goa tried to settle down by playing more passes in midfield but were unwilling to rest on the northeastern thin lead as Deshorn Brown missed the target by beating two defenders.
Goa relied on the excellent George Ortiz to deliver the goods and Spaniard Provat Lacra passed to send the teasing ball inside the box but Mirshad Michu was alert to avoid danger at the right time. The Northeast looked so beautiful when Brown and Suher Vadakkepidika combined their efforts to see a Goan shirt distracting for a corner.
Goa slowly started to grow in the game and equalized just before halftime whistle when Cabrera nodded without marking it in the corner of Alberto Noguera.
In the second period, Ortiz and Cabrera looked to Goa more dangerously by combining brilliantly to keep the Northeast United defense on the Tenterhooks. There were very few chances for the Highlanders but Goa could not make maximum use of their aggressive performance as in the end they had to spoil it with their rivals.