ISL 2020-21: Goa, 10-man East Bengal share spoils; Enobakhare wonder goal steals show

Bright Enobakhare's brilliant solo effort stole the show as FC Goa and 10-man SC East Bengal played out a 1-1 draw at the Tilak Maidan in Goa on Wednesday.

SC East Bengal players celebrate Bright Enobakhare's wonder goal against FC Goa at the Tilak Maidan on Wednesday.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

A 10-man East Bengal put up a fine show of grit and grace to hold a strong FC Goa 1-1 in an Indian Super League match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Wednesday. Nigerian forward Bright Enobakhare brought up a world-class goal to take East Bengal ahead before Devendra Murgaonkar got the equaliser for Goa. Both the goals came late in the second half.

Goa remained the dominant side with around 65 per cent ball possession in the opening half but East Bengal managed to hold off the local side with a good show of defensive organisation. East Bengal coach Robbie Fowler made five changes in the team that had started against Odisha FC, apparently looking for a fitter side to challenge a strong opponent like Goa.

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East Bengal goalkeeper Debjit Majumder got into the action right after the start when he had to go full stretch to save a header from Goa’s Australian defender James Donachie, who nicely connected a free-kick from Spaniard Jorge Ortiz. Debjit continued to remain the busiest man in the East Bengal lineup as he tried to fend off Goa’s attacking efforts. Ortiz had multiple scoring opportunities but all his efforts that were on target were parried away by Debjit.  

East Bengal created opportunities during counter-attacks and got very close in the 29th minute when its captain Daniel Fox sent his header, off a Raju Gaikwad long-throw, wide off an open goal. A minute earlier, Aaron Amadi-Holloway had seen his header from close range sailing over. Matti Steinmann had a good opportunity in the 60th minute when he cleared the Goan defence with a fine solo effort but failed to direct the ball on target in the end.

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The best moment of the match came for East Bengal in the 79th minute when Enobakhare scored a breath-taking goal. The SCEB striker brought alive a Diego Maradona moment with his silken dribbling skills as he floored four Goa defenders and the goalkeeper, Mohammad Nawaz, to bring about the stunning finish. Enobakhare’s sublime effort would definitely count as one of the best individual efforts in the tournament’s short history. East Bengal’s joy was short-lived as substitute Devendra Murgaonkar nodded home the equaliser in the 81st minute.

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Earlier, East Bengal went down to 10 men in the 55th minute when Fox was sent off with a direct red card for an apparent foul on Romario Jesuraj. The decision by referee A. Rowan looked a bit harsh as the English defender seemed to unintentionally collide with the Goa winger as both went for a stray ball.

THE RESULT: East Bengal 1 (Bright Enobakhare 79') drew with FC Goa 1 (Devendra Murgaonkar 81').

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