I-League: Sporting Clube de Goa rally to hold Mohun Bagan AC to 1-1 draw
Bagan failed to put up the same performance which they displayed against Salgaocar FC.
Margao: Sporting Clube de Goa played their hearts out as they rallied to hold Mohun Bagan to a 1-1 draw in an I-League match at Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday.
The draw took Mohun Bagan to 22 points from 10 matches to remain at the top of the table while Sporting Clube de Goa secured 13 points from 10 games.
Bagan failed to put up the same performance which they displayed against Salgaocar though they took the lead in the 28th minute through Brandon Fernandes.
The home team played a disciplined game and created a lot of scoring chances especially in the second half. They found the equaliser from an own goal by Mohun Bagan defender Raju Gaikwad.
Sporting took the control of the midfield with Rowllin Borges steering the attack as they never allowed the visitors to dictate terms.
Odafe Okolie had the first chance to put Sporting ahead early in the match after he was put through by Glen Martins but he shot out after drawing the keeper out of his position.
On the other hand, Bagan could not penetrate into the rival defense quite often but Sony Norde and Cornell Glen looked quite dangerous whenever they had the ball with them.
In one such move, Norde, with his sheer speed, got the better of Joseph Clemente on the left and on entering the box, sent a goal-mouth cross to Brandon Fernandes who tapped the ball into the net in the 28th minute.
Sensing trouble, Sporting made a quick change, replacing Ganesh Thakur with Victorino Fernandes and the move paid off.
Victorino, who worked his way on the right, sent a measured cross into the Bagan box which defender Raju Gaikwad deflected into his own goal to have both the teams tied at 1-1 at half time.
Sporting continued to enjoy midfield superiority in the second half and created scoring chances. But, Odafe, who had a couple of clear chances, could not find the back of the net.
In 52nd minute, his well directed shot was cleared on the goal line by defender Raju Gaikwad and then his shot was deflected by rival defender off Nicholas Fernandes pass.
Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar too came off with a couple of good saves to deny Sporting the victory in the second half.
The Kolkata team too had a couple of chances but Cornell's try went straight into the hands of Sporting keeper Arindam and substitute Pronoy Halder's powerful header deflected a rival defender and went for an abortive corner.