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I-League: Shillong Lajong, Mumbai share points; East Bengal's Ranty Martins double sinks Sporting

The home team's Nigerian striker Penn Orji almost scored in the opening minute but missed it by a few inches. Within 10 minutes, Mumbai's Eric Brown returned an attack that also went wide.

I-League: Shillong Lajong, Mumbai share points;  East Bengal's Ranty Martins double sinks Sporting

New Delhi: On the second day of ninth edition of I-League, Shillong Lajong FC and Mumbai FC shared the spoils from a goal-less draw even as East Bengal beat  Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1 thanks to a  Ranty Martins double on Sunday.

In Shillong' JN Stadium, both sides got off to an exciting start and strikers at both ends were on an attacking spree but failed to score the all important goal.

The home team's Nigerian striker Penn Orji almost scored in the opening minute but missed it by a few inches. Within 10 minutes, Mumbai's Eric Brown returned an attack that also went wide.

Upping their ante, Lajong nearly scored again in the 22nd minute when their Brazilian recruit Uilliams Bomfin's shot narrowly missed the target.

The following minute, Izumi, Sushil and Minchol worked together to put pressure on the hosts defence but were thwarted by the likes of Robin Gurung and his colleagues at the back.

Resuming after the break, Lajong continued with their raids at the Mumbai goal but failed to convert the chances that came their way.

Mumbai players, it appeared, were affected by the cold weather conditions and the high altitude of Shillong. 

Earlier in the day, Ranty Martins struck twice as East Bengal rallied to beat Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1 in their opening match of the I-League at the Nehru Stadium..

Sporting Clube de Goa, who had a better share of exchanges in the initial period, led 1-0 at the half time through a goal by Odafe Okolie in the 29th minute.

There was no goal-mouth thrill as play was confined mostly at the midfield in the dull first half.

East Bengal improved their performance by several notches in the second half and man-of-the-match Ranty Martins (67th and 80th) scored a double to win the match while Bikas Jairu (78th) scored the third to give East Bengal full points.

Both the teams adopted a cautious approach in the first half. Sporting Clube de Goa came up with a couple of good moves before Odafe Okalie put his team ahead in the 29th minute when he dodged past defender Arnab Mondal and Bello Rasaq before essaying an angular shot to find the far corner of the net.

East Bengal could not create impact on the rival defence until coach Biswajit Bhattacharjee introduced Sabeeth Sathyan and Md. Rafique and this provided a thrust in the upfront with Ranty Martins looking dangerous whenever he had the ball with him.

Ranty found the equaliser in the 67th minute when he headed home a cross from Do Donghyun.

The goal acted a perfect tonic for the visitors who kept on attacking and then took the lead in the 78th minute. Bikas Jairu, who intercepted a rival defender's pass, laid the ball to Ranty who unleashed a firm left-footer to find the top of the net.

Ranty finally took the game away from the home side's reach when he chested a long lob from Sehnaj Singh before finding the net with a right footer to give his team full points.

(With PTI inputs)

From Zee News

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