In what turned out to be a competitive and nail-biting match, NorthEast United came up with a spirited performance to ensure a 2-2 draw against former champions Bengaluru FC in Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 at the Fatorda Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday. Luis Machado scored a brace, as it ensured that NEU rise to the second spot, while BFC rose to fourth.

The opening half saw Machado get the proceedings underway, as it was in the fourth minute, following an assist from Rochharzela, he put NEU ahead. However, just nine minutes later, it was Juanan, who classy strike levelled things up. The two continued to come up with as many as nine more chances during the first half, but failed to put it in, as the deadlock stayed at the half-time whistle.

The second half saw a spirited start, with a couple of saves for both the sides. However, it was in the 10th minute when Udanta Singh, following an assist from Sunil Chhetri, put the former champions back in the lead. However, just seven minutes later, NEU produced another attack, as Machado's independent strike ensured that the deadlock was once again back at it.

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Following Machado's brace, it was followed by as many as six further attempts, including a near-the-box free-kick by BFC. However, the sides struggled to find the net, as the referee blew the full-time whistle, while the sides shared the honours.

"We wanted to get the three points. The way the game went, I can take this point as a positive. Last game was three days ago. 21 players took their chances, so I am proud of the team. [On subs] To be honest, we have always had the ideas of Plan A, B and C and also what happens in the game. We need to prevent the injuries as well, so need this kind of rotation in the team. Players are doing well on the training as well. [On goals] As far as the ball goes in... These goals are something we worked on," said NEU manager, Gerard Nus, after the game.

Meanwhile, BFC coach, Carles Cuadrat, reckoned, "We were trying our best to get the three points. But the last goal was not possible. [Best performance this season?] I think so. The guys are getting fit and ready. It's a step-by-step process. We spent two hours to get to the stadium because of some problems on the road. We are doing our best in this bubble situation, so is the ISL. [On returning to attacking form of 2018-19?] It's question of moments and confidence of the players. The guys are working and doing well. Sometimes you score and you have a good dynamic. Hope, next game, we get our strikers to get scoring."