Margao: Sporting Clube de Goa played their hearts out to script a narrow 2-1 win over Mohun Bagan in the 15th round of the I-League, played at Nehru Stadium on Thursday.
Bagan`s Rakesh Masih(72nd) cancelled Keita Boubacar 65th minute strike. But Sporting who held the ball possession throughout the match scored the winner through substitute Kalu Ogba in the 82nd minute to take Sporting tally to 20 points from 15 matches.
While the visitors who drew against Sporting at home remained on fourth place with 29 points from as many matches.
Sporting who needed couple of wins to bring their sagging morale back and keep them away from the relegation zone started aggressively and never allowed the visitors to settle down to a rhythm with Anthony D`Souza playing the stellar role on the left flank keeping the rival defence on tenter hooks with his teasing crosses stretched keeper Sangram Mukherjee in the first minute who punched the ball to safety off a goal mouth cross.
James Moga who played his heart out today upfront with little support from debutant Jae Hyun Park who failed to impress on top saw his strike punch out by rival keeper Mukherjee.
Mukherjee who was kept busy under the bar kept the slate clean in the first half denying Freriman Peixoto and Rowllin Borges from scoring as he blocked their shot to have both the team 0-0 at half time.
Odafe Okolie who scored a hatrick against Churchill Brothers in their last match was a mere spectator who was not given any space by the rival defenders even as Bagan tried to meet him with long passes as a result their attack was blunted.
Sporting continued to pile the pressure on the visitors and went ahead in the 65th minute after Anthony D`Souza attempt at the goal missed narrowly off a long lob from Freiman Peixoto.
Anthony D`Souza who took the flag kick on the left floated the ball into the box for unmarked Keita Boubacar whose header found the far corner of the net.
But Sporting joy was short-lived as Bagan equalised seven minutes latter.
A move on the right saw Jose Baretto took a shot at the goal which hit the rival defender and fell on the path of Rakesh Masih who uncorked a rasping shot that found the roof of the net.
Sporting made two changes bringing in Victorino Fernandes and Rowllin Borges in place of Jae Hyun Park and Rowllin Borges and that gave more thrust to their attack and Sporting scored the winner in the 82nd minute.
Anthony D`Souza who was the live wire in the Sporting`s attack sent a high cross inside the box for Kalu Ogba who made no mistake to nod the ball into the net and give Sporting full points.
Substitute Victorino Fernandes then had the best chance to increase the lead in the dying minute after he was put through by Moga, the later sprinted into the box getting better of a defender but failed to direct his shot on target with only keeper at his mercy as he shot over.