Sporting hold Prayag United 2-2 in I-league tie
Margao: Sporting Clube de Goa recovered from an initial jolt as they managed to hold Prayag United of Kolkata to a 2-2 draw in an I-League tie on Sunday.
Prayag United, who had defeated Sporting in Federation Cup earlier, took the lead in the 9th minute through Yusif Yakubu in a nail-biting game played at Nehru stadium Fatorda here.
Sporting scored the equaliser in 33rd minute through a superb header by debutante James Moga who netted off a cross from Boboi Singh at the end of half time.
Prayag United retaliated again through Yusif Yakubu in 76th minute. Sporting restored parity in the 84th minute when James Moga again scoring from a header.
Vitorino Fernandes had a golden chance to score in the last minute but he failed to get past keeper Abhijit Mondal.
Sporting, who made five changes in the squad which had played against Prayag in Federation Cup, made a flamboyant start with James Moga hitting a free kick which was stopped by keeper Mondal.
On the other hand, in a fine move Prayag United`s Kyane Vincent made his way into the box from left and squared the ball to Yasif Yakubu, who took three rival defenders to his stride and toed the ball into the net giving keeper Milagrio Medeira no chance.
Prayag then persistently kept the pressure on Sporting with Kayne Vincent combining well with Yakubu who had two opportunities to score but missed them narrowly.
James Moga managed to outsmart his marker Arnab Mondal as he rose above to head home the ball off Boboi Singh cross in the 33rd minute to have both the teams levelled 1-1 at half time.
After change of ends, Prayag looked more dominant of the two as they created ample scoring chances but Kayne Vincent and Yakubu failed to direct their shot on target.
Yakubu who looked quite aggressive outwitted a defender and took a left footer from inside the box which was saved by keeper Milagrio Medeira in the 63rd minute.
Few minutes later, Kayne and Yakubu played a one-to-one wall past to split the defence and Kayne sent a low drive which the keeper managed to collect.
With pressure mounting on Sporting, their citadel finally fell for the second time in the 76th minute when their defence was breached by a cross from substitute Malsawmtluanga from the right and Yakubu who was free inside the box shot home to put Prayag in the lead.
But their joy was short-lived as Sporting restored parity in the 84th minute when James Moga again found the net through a header off the cross from Freiman Peixoto from the right. The goal spurred Sporting into an attacking mode and had the best chance to score the winner in the last minute but Victorino Fernndes missed it in front of the goal when he had only the keeper to beat.