Hyderabad FC’s stoppage time equalizer shatters Punjab FC’s hopes of maiden ISL victory | ISL 2023-24

Nov 7, 2023 | News

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Punjab FC and Hyderabad FC played out an entertaining and dramatic 1-1 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Tuesday.

Following a period where both teams had difficulties converting their chances, Punjab FC’s Mera broke the deadlock in the second half, but Jonathan Moya scored a stoppage-time goal to level the proceedings.

In a bid to secure their first victories this season, both head coaches opted for multiple changes to the starting lineup.

Amarjit Singh Kiyam and goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu made their way into the lineup for the hosts. Hyderabad FC, meanwhile, made three alterations, with the likes of Felipe Amorim, Joe Knowles, and Aaren D’Silva named in what looked like an attacking set-up.

The game began in a cagey fashion, but both teams had a couple of half-chances in the opening quarter. For Punjab FC, Madih Talal came close to scoring, while Amorim and D’Silva had long-range attempts that just narrowly missed the target.

As the game settled after the half-hour mark, the Nizmas began controlling the tempo of the game but failed to create anything of significance. Meanwhile, Punjab posed a threat on the counterattack, with the likes of Madih Talal, Juan Mera, and Luca Majcen playing pivotal roles in the home side’s positive approach.

As the first half was drawing to a close, Majcen had a golden opportunity to give his team the lead. Once again, it was the combination of Mera and Talal that set up the chance, with Talal delivering a pin-point cross into the box. However, Majcen mistimed his header from close range.

At the halftime whistle, both teams had recorded seven shots on goal, but the score remained level, with neither side failing to test the goalkeeper.

Punjab FC and Hyderabad FC score late to secure a point

Hyderabad FC began the second half with intent as they began carving open Punjab’s defense. The first clear-cut chance of the game fell their way, with Amorim delivering a powerful strike from close range, only to be met with an exceptional save by Kiran Kumar in the goal.

Aaren D’Silva remained highly involved in the game, but, as has been their recurring issue this season, Hyderabad struggled with the final touch. The game remained deadlocked at the hour mark.

As both teams found it difficult to break the deadlock, the match evolved into an end-to-end contest in the last 20 minutes. Punjab then had their chance to create opportunities, with Mera initially testing Gurmeet Singh with a strong strike with 15 minutes of regulation time left.

Following that opportunity, Brandon had a huge chance, with his relatively weak attempt spilled by Gurmeet. Majcen capitalized on the rebound and slotted the ball into the net, only for the offside flag to be raised, much to the disappointment of Punjab FC supporters.

The goal was certainly inevitable and it was Punjab FC who opened the scoring in the 82nd minute. It was once again Talal and Mera who orchestrated the move, with the former getting the better of Chinglensana Singh before setting up Mera, who successfully found the back of the net.

However, there was a dramatic late turn of events in the game, as Hyderabad FC managed to net an equalizing goal with only seconds remaining on the clock.

Mark Zothanpuia’s cross found Jonathan Moya at the back post, where he leaped the highest to draw the score level and leave Punjab FC disheartened.

The game eventually ended 1-1, and both teams remained bottom of the table, with three points each to their name.

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