NorthEast United FC's bid to rise to the third spot took a tumble, as it settled for a competitive, yet frustrating draw against Odisha FC in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL), at the GMC Stadium in Telangana, on Tuesday. NEU stays in the fourth spot with this draw, while Odisha stays in 10th, as the latter is yet winless this season.

The opening half was off to an attacking start from both sides, with 11 drives being attempted in the opening 20 minutes. Nonetheless, it was two minutes later when Diego Maurício's right-footed strike to the bottom-left corner from outside the box allowed Odisha to take the lead, thanks to the assist from Hendry Antonay.

It was followed by seven more attempts from both, including a save in the 40th minute for NEU's Federico Gallego. Nevertheless, it was at the stroke of half-time when Benjamin Lambot's header to the centre from the same position, following an assist from Ashutosh Mehta, allowed NEU to level things up, as both the sides went into the half-time break with the deadlock in place.

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The second half was even attacking, with nine offences being attempted until the 62nd minute. But, two minutes later, Kwesi Appiah handed the visitors the lead from the box's centre, through a penalty, after Arshdeep Singh fouled the former.

Nonetheless, Cole Alexander pulled it back for the hosts, courtesy his right-footed shot to the bottom-right corner from the left flank, following an assist from Jerry Mawihmingthanga. Five more attacks followed, including a save for NEU's Suhair Vadakkepeedika in the 88th minute, but to no avail, as both shared the honours at the full-time whistle.