Late goal denies Punjab FC their first win in the ISL

Punjab FC were held to a 1-1 draw against Hyderabad FC as two goals late in the second half, one each by Juan Mera and Jonathan Moya, meant that the two teams settled for a point each

Jonathan Moya’s late equalizer in the eighth minute of injury time for Hyderabad FC denied Punjab FC (PFC) their first-ever win in the Indian Super League after Juan Mera had given the Shers the lead in the 82nd minute. The Round 7 match played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is the second straight draw of the season for the home side.

Punjab FC Head Coach Staikos Vergetis made two changes to the starting lineup bringing in midfielder Amarjit Singh Kiyam and goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu in place of suspended defender Dimitrios Chatziisalas and goalkeeper Ravi Kumar. Hyderabad FC Head Coach Thangboi Singto lined his team up in a 3-4-2-1 formation in the match.

It was an early possession for Hyderabad, as Punjab sat back and soaked in the pressure in the starting minutes but the Shers maintained a good defensive line. PFC pressed with a lot of energy, not allowing the Hyderabad midfield to create any openings. Madih Talah made a great movement and nearly found an opening. The midfielder wrestled past three defenders, but his shot found goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh. Ashis Pradhan came close as the midfielder got a free header from the corner, but he unfortunately headed the ball over the bar. PFC made two back-to-back clearances as Hyderabad FC continued to pile up the pressure on them. Both sides made six attempts on goal and went into the break on even terms when the referee blew the half-time whistle.

At the beginning of the second half, Kiran Limbu pulled off an incredible save off Felipe’s left-footed shot. Within a blink of an eye, Kiran Limbu made another brilliant save as he denied Aaren D’Silva. In the 59th minute, Nikhil Prabhu got a yellow card for a reckless tackle. Lhungdim also saw a yellow card for bringing down Felipe and stopping Hyderabad FC’s counter attack. In the 67th minute, Punjab FC Head Coach Staikos Vergetis brought Brandon Vanlalremdika in place of Amarjit Singh Kiyam, and just a minute after that Hyderabad Head Coach Thangboi Singto made a triple change by bringing in Yasir, Jonathan, and Rabeeh in place of Silva, Knowles and Tavora.

Hyderabad FC goalkeeper Gurmeet pulled off a fine save and denied Juan Mera an opportunity to put Punjab FC ahead in the game. Just after that Luka Majcen put the ball in the back of the net, but it was flagged offside by the linesman. In the 80th minute, the PFC Head Coach brought Prashant in place of Khrishnanada. Punjab FC finally broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute as Madih Talal set up Juan Mera and the Spaniard expertly found the net.

In additional time, HFC kept on pressing harder to find the equalizer but Kiran made two back-to-back saves for his side. It was heartbreak for Punjab FC in the last minute of the game as Moya scored a last-minute equalizer and denied Punjab FC an opportunity to win their first-ever ISL game. Luca Majcen found the back of the net again but was flagged offside as both teams shared points.

Punjab FC has three points from seven matches while Hyderabad FC also has three points from six matches. Punjab FC will face Bengaluru FC in their next match on 30th November at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru.

For Fixtures and Standing and News on the MFA Super League: Click

Also Read: MFA Super League: Mumbai Strikers SC, Iron Born pick big wins

Also Read: MFA Super League: MSP holds Tarun Sporting to a hard-fought draw

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