Margao: Sporting Clube de Goa fought back
strongly in the second half to beat Mahindra United 3-2 and
kept their hopes of avoiding relegation alive in a round 24
I-League match at Nehru Stadium here today.
The local outfit, who dominated the ball possession and
created several chances, scored through substitute Nathaniel
Amos (37th), Junior Obagbemiro (75th) and Adil Khan (80th).
Mahindra, who lacked the force to punch a hole in the
rival defence, capitalised on defensive lapses in the first
half through Sushil Kumar Shinde (22nd) and Mohammed Rafi
The win takes Sporting to 24 points from as many matches,
the same as Salgaocar, but they are lying at the bottom on
account of inferior goal difference.
On the other hand, Mahindra remained on second place with
38 points from 24 matches.
Both the teams played attacking game and Mahindra was
first to open the account, scoring in the 22nd minute from a
Rafi, who was dangerously moving with the ball inside the
box, was brought down by Rovan Pereira from behind.
Referee Andrew Shekar awarded the penalty to Mahindra
which was converted by Shinde beating custodian Felix to his
right. Sporting, after missing two close chances, restored
parity in the 37th minute.
Obagbemiro initiated the move and relayed the ball to
Pereira, who sent a perfect cross into the box for the tall
substitute Amos who headed the ball into the net.
Sporting defence faltered and gifted a goal when they
failed to set the off side trap and defenders Felip Gomes and
Adil allowed Rafi to sneak into the box and score off a long
lob from K Ajayan.
Mahindra slowed down in the second half after taking the
lead, allowing the local club to dictate terms and restore
parity in 75th minute through Obagbemiro.
Five minutes later, Sporting scored the winner through
Adil, who was adjudged man of the match.