Sporting late bust sinks Bagan
Riding on Elijah's late bust Sporting Clube de Goa pipped Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan by a solitary goal, registering their third consecutive victory in the ongoing ONGC I-League, in the tenth round match played at the Nehru stadium, Fatorda, here on Wednesday.
The score was goalless at the time of breather. Foreigner Elijah Obagbemiro scored the all-important goal in the 85 th minute to seal the fate of the opponents. Sporting raised their tally to 12 points after 10 rounds, while Bagan has 14 points in the same number of outings.
It was a blunder committed by Bagan experienced custodian Sangram Mukherjee that saw his team on the losing side. Sangram failed to intercept the aerial ball on a cross from the right flank by Denzil Franco. Sporting substitute Harmanjot Khabra swiftly headed the ball towards Elijah, who headed it home five minutes before the final whistle.
Bagan played a much organised and probing game and raided often into the rival half but Sporting's defense did a commendable job to hold their fort as they kept Bagan forwards on a bay.
The Goan players tightly marked Baichung Bhutia as the Bagan ace couldn't get many opportunities to seize the lead. Bhutia got a scoring chance in the first half but he failed to guide his header on target off a cross from Jose Barreto.
Sporting started on a rather sedate not but got hold of the match as it progressed further. They came closer in the dying minutes of first half but rival keeper Sangram Mukherjee thwarted a power-packed shot from Lawrence Adjei.
After the lemon-break, Sporting keeper Luis Barreto saved Jonathan Bobo's header off a flag-kick attempted by James Singh in the 61st minute. Sporting initiated a counter move and was about to get the goal but defender Peter Odafe made a good goalline clearance on Elijah's shot.
Sporting exerted pressure and brought more penetration in their attack with flurry of forays in the rival arena. There efforts finally paid off when they broke the deadlock in the 85th minute through Elijah's header, which gave them full three points.
Sporting's Joseph Pereira was named the man of the match. Referee Pradeep Kumar showed the yellow card to D Mohan Raj of Bagan.
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