FC Goa started flamboyantly but could not capitalise on a one-man numerical advantage over Odisha FC and went on to share points when winning was the best option at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneshwar on Monday.
The draw has allowed FC Goa to take a step ahead of ATK Mohun Bagan who needs to play table toppers Mumbai City FC, Chennaiyin FC and a resurgent Bengaluru FC in their last three games.
Scoring early has been the style scripted by FC Goa in ISL 9 and Monday was no different when they opened their account in the second minute after capitalizing on an Odisha FC defensive error.
Noah Sadaoui, who has been amongst the ones to score early goals, pushed the ball past Arminder Singh without much ado.
The early goal did sound a warning to the hosts who started replying meticulously by trying to take the ball in through the flanks but getting past Dheeraj Singh was the problem whenever they did have a crack at the FC Goa citadel.
The hosts' persistence paid off through a dead ball when Isak Vanlalruatfela was fouled by FC Goa captain Brandon Fernandes at the top of their box when the former was attempting to turn with the ball.
Diego Mauricio who stepped forward to take the free kick sent in a shot that crashed into the right-hand corner of the FC Goa goal to allow both teams to troop in for the lemon sharing two goals.
Odisha continued the second session with vigour and came close to increasing their lead minutes after the start of the second half when Saul Crespo saw Dheeraj dive to his left to thwart his header from entering the nets.
FC Goa, not to be outdone, hit back through Noah but this time it was Amrinder who denied the former his second goal of the evening.
As both teams appeared settling for an eventful evening, Sahil Pawar of Odisha had to leave the field after receiving his second yellow booking around the hour mark. Odisha FC played with a man down in their away game against FC Goa wherein they lost 0-3.
FC Goa coach brought in Hernan Santana in place of Alvaro Vasquez and the former saw two of his shots at goal saved by Amrinder at the expanse of corners. Both were top-quality saves by the Odisha FC keeper.
Despite playing against a team with a man less, FC Goa really did not manage to capitalise. They took the ball to the top of the Odisha box but that was where it ended.
FC Goa plays Mumbai City FC at home on Saturday.