RoundGlass Punjab and NEROCA FC played out a 3–3 draw to end their respective I-League seasons on a thrilling note here on Friday.
Punjab looked set to finish their season on a high after leading for most of the contest thanks to goals from Freddy Lallawmawma, Travis Major and Robin Singh.
However, the Orange Brigade had other plans as Juan Mera inspired a solid performance to get on the scoresheet himself and provide assists for Vicky Meitei and Ben Nash to steal a hard-fought point.
Punjab got the first breakthrough when Lallawmawma opened the scoring in the 14th minute.
READ: Zambia FA calls off friendly with India due to non-availability of players
Robin flighted in an innocuous-looking ball into the box from the left flank, which was not dealt with properly by NEROCA centre back Ben Nash. As a result, Kurtis Guthrie put his body about inside the box to win the physical duel and lay the ball off for Freddy, who fired the ball into the near corner to give Punjab the lead.
After threatening to double their lead earlier, Punjab finally delivered on its promise in the 28th minute. A corner kick from the left flank was flicked on at the near post by Robin and met at the far post by Travis, who was careful to head the ball into the roof of the net.
NEROCA countered with a response in the 36th minute, pulling a goal back through Vicky.
READ: FA Cup 2022 final: Chelsea vs Liverpool, all you need to know, head-to-head, streaming info
On the other side of halftime, Robin came to the fore and restored Punjab’s two-goal cushion in the 48th minute.
Just as Punjab showed signs of pulling away and securing a win in the contest, NEROCA came right back and reduced the arrears. In the 55th minute, Mera stepped up to take a penalty kick, and the Spaniard made no mistakes as he cheekily dinked a Panenka penalty into the goal.
The Orange Brigade completed their comeback in the 86th minute, and it was a tale of redemption for Ghanaian Nash.
The draw confirmed a fifth-place finish for Punjab, while NEROCA finished in seventh place in the league table.
Latest on Sportstar
- ISL 2023-24: Mourtada Fall completes move to Odisha FC
- Detained midfielder Son included in South Korea squad for International friendlies
- IBA says has met reform criteria for Olympics, accuses IOC of intransigence
- Formula 1: Mercedes optimistic after significant progress show at Spanish GP
- French Open 2023: Russian Kasatkina feeling bitter after being booed post loss to Ukraine’s Svitolina