ISL: Late Romario strike helps FC Goa draw with Odisha

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Odisha FC suffered a major blow in their quest for play-off qualification after FC Goa drew 1-1 in their Indian Super League match here on Tuesday.

Goals from Jonathas (61st, from a penalty) and FC Goa forward Romario’s (90+5) equalizer in the last minute meant that neither team took all three points.

The result prevents Odisha from rising to fifth in the standings, tied on points with Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC. As for FC Goa, the winless streak extends to five games.

Both teams saw a lot of things from end to end in the opening minutes. The Gaurs had a larger share of possession, but struggled to translate it into scoring opportunities.

Airan Cabrera got space behind the Odisha defense in the first quarter of an hour but ended up shooting over the crossbar.

On the other hand, Liridon Krasniqi missed a great chance to score thanks to a brave goal from Naveen Kumar.

Arshdeep Singh also had to pull off a strong save from Edu Bedia just after the drinking break. Princeton Rebello thought he had scored in the 40th minute until Thoiba Singh blocked the goal inside the area.

Both teams lacked inspiration in attack, so there were no goals at the halftime break.

After the restart, Cabrera asked for a penalty for a possible handball but to no avail. The striker fired over the goalkeeper but saw it blocked by the defender, apparently with his hand.

However, just at game time, the Guerreros de Kalinga received a penalty after Alberto Noguera tripped over Javier Hernández inside the box.

Jonathas stepped forward and sent his penalty into the upper left corner for the decisive goal.

A few minutes later, Jerry Mawihmingthanga came close to extending Odisha’s lead, but his chip hit the crossbar.

Derrick Pereira made several changes heading into the last stage of the match, pushing for an equalizer.

Four minutes were added for saves that saw more pressure from the Gaurs, in search of that elusive equalizing goal. Romario finally arrived who scored with a header in the last minute of added time, thus dividing the points between both teams.

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