A late equaliser by Panagiotis Triadis (90') against Jamshedpur helped NorthEast United maintain their unbeaten start to the season at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Monday. Sergio Castel (28’) had put his team ahead with his fifth goal of the season before late drama helped the visitors clinch a point.
The battle for the top of the table started with Jamshedpur dominating proceedings in the opening moments. Farukh Choudhary was heavily involved in the attack and produced several nervy moments for the NorthEast defence.
The first big moment of the game arrived in the sixth minute when Noe Acosta managed to tace to the by-line and whip in a dangerous cross into the NorthEast box. Farukh responded with an acrobatic effort that just went over the bar.
This was followed by lengthy spells of Jamshedpur domination and it was only a matter of when they would break the deadlock. Castel proved to be the man of the hour yet again, as he put his team ahead in the 28th minute.
Aitor Monroy unlocked NorthEast’s defence with a brilliant ball through to Farukh on the right. The India international carried it forward and whipped in a dangerous cross. Mislav Komorski was not able to deal with it and the ball eventually reached Castel who fired it in from close range.
Jamshedpur's defence proved too tight for the visitors to exploit. Asamoah Gyan was at the end of a couple of chances but was unable to bury any of those.
A game-changing moment arrived in the 78th minute when goal-scorer Castel was taken off following what looked like a bad injury after Reagan Singh's poor challenge. Aniket Jadhav replaced the Spaniard but the lack of a focal point in Jamshedpur's frontline prevented from causing further trouble to the NorthEast defence.
NorthEast's equaliser arrived through Triadis in the last minute of regulation time. Mislav Komorski played a long ball to the edge of the box. Gyan flicked it towards an unmarked Triadis and the Greek winger slotted it past Subrata Paul to ensure his side stayed unbeaten.
The hosts were the dominant side for most parts of the game but have only themselves to blame for losing their concentration at the death.