- Melroy Assisi (63')
- Parthib Gogoi (45'+1')
NorthEast United FC's Parthib Gogoi scored in his third consecutive Indian Super League (ISL 2023-24) appearance as his side played out a 1-1 draw with Punjab FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Friday.
Gogoi, 20, shot from outside of the 18-yard box in his trademark style at the brink of half-time to put Juan Pedro Benali's side ahead. However, the Punjab FC, making their ISL debut this year, equalised courtesy of Melroy Melwin Assisi in the 63rd minute.
Benali's NorthEast United have developed unique set-piece routines that help them produce goal-scoring opportunities. An example of the same came in the 21st minute when left-back Tondonba Singh threw straight into the box from a throw-in. Mohammed Ali Bemammer nodded the ball into Nestor Albiach's path on the right. Albiach had two opportunities to slot the ball into the net, but he was unable to do so both times.
However, Nestor made amends with his terrific hold-up play and game awareness in the added time of the first half. He steered the ball into the Punjab box amidst frequent challenges by the home team's defenders. He played the ball for an onrushing Gogoi on the left flank and the latter cut in and drilled the ball into the top left corner to put his side ahead.
Punjab struck back in the 63rd minute when Juan Mera played an inch-perfect delivery from the corner flag for Melroy on the far end of the post. The 24-year-old met the cross perfectly and slotted the ball home to level the scores heading into the final half-hour of the match.
Punjab FC's next match will be against Jamshedpur FC on October 22, while NorthEast United will head to Kochi to take on the Kerala Blasters on October 21.
- Aditya Purkayastha