Durand Cup: Sporting thrash Air India, enter semi-finals
Sporting Clube de Goa scored a thumping 4-1 win over Air India to enter the semi-finals of the 127th Durand Cup, played at Raia Panchayat ground, here this evening.
Margao: Sporting Clube de Goa scored a thumping 4-1 win over Air India to enter the semi-finals of the 127th Durand Cup, played at Raia Panchayat ground, here this evening.
Sporting, who dominated throughout the match, scored through Boima Karpeh (15th), Cajetan Fernandes (28th), Clemente Joseph (injury time) and Anthony Wolfe (64th).
Air India, who were at the receiving end, pulled one back in the 70th minute through substitute Neil Gaikwad.
With one team qualifying from each group, Sporting Clube de Goa, who topped Group B with two wins from as many matches, are the first team to make it to the semi-finals.
While Air India, who drew against United SC, finished their league engagement with one point from two games and are out of contention for the semi-finals.
Sporting Clube de Goa, who needed a draw to enter the semis, made two changes bringing in Cresson Antao and Velito cruz in place of Keenan Almeida and Rowllin Borges.
They started on an attacking note as they moved the ball with short passes that kept the rival team on the back foot. They surged ahead in the 15th minute through a penalty after Air India's Mervin F Stephen brought down Anthony Wolfe inside the box. The home team's penalty was converted by Boima Karpeh.
Sporting kept up the pressure and nearly increased the lead a few minutes latter, but rival defender Santosh Koli made a goal line save to deny Mauvin Borges.
Air India citadel once again fell in the 28th minute when a move from the middle by Velito Cruz saw him relay the ball to Karpeh who sent a through pass for Cajetan Fernandes to find the target.
Clemente Joseph killed the match when his long ranger found the roof of the net in the injury time to have Sporting leading 3-0 at half time. Earlier, Wolfe header hit the bar off Mauvin Borges flag kick.
With a 3-0 cushion, Sporting slowed down the tempo after the break and rounded off the tally in the 64th minute when Anthony Wolfe chased a long ball to beat a rival defender and shot home from close.