Odafa Okolie's double strike helps Sporting Clube de Goa beat table-toppers Mohun Bagan 2-1
Odafa Okolie’s brace sank Mohun Bagan at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa. Odafa scored two important goals in the 70th and 87th minute to seal a much-needed win for the relegation threatened Sporting Clube de Goa. Katsumi Yusa scored a consolation goal for the visitors in the 73rd minute.
Mohun Bagan fielded a full strength squad in this vital match against Sporting Clube de Goa. Goalkeeper Debjit Majumder came back into the first XI in place of Shilton Paul who was at fault in the previous game for Bagan’s defeat. Sporting missed the services of Anthony Wolfe upfront due to injury and Sandesh Jhingan in the defence.
The first half saw both the teams sharing equal possession. It was an end to end affair as both the sides displayed attacking football. Mohun Bagan utilized both wings as Sony Norde and Katsumi Yusa launched a series of attacks. Sporting too were dependent on the attacking trio of Victorino Fernandes, Brandon Fernandes and Odafa Okolie. Syrian international Mahmoud Amnah did a commendable job in the central midfield position. He utilized his huge physical presence and contineuously ran down the length of the pitch.
Late flurry of goals in slow game
As the game progressed, both the teams slowed down the pace in order to cope with the heat. The match became slow and dull as half time was approaching.
The home side looked more positive in their approach in the second half as they attacked in numbers. The combination of young Brandon Fernandes and ace forward Odafa Okolie was proving dangerous for the Bagan defence. Credit must be given to Belo Rasaq who absorbed the pressure well.
In the 70th minute, Odafa finally broke the deadlock by scoring from a prolific header from a corner. It was characteristic of the Nigerian who was present at the correct time for the ball.
Unfortunately the home side’s joy did not last long as Katsumi Yusa tapped in an equaliser within 3 minutes from Sony Norde’s ground pass. The Haitian ran down the left flank, dribbled past one defender and forwarded a pass to the Japanese who just had to push the ball into the net.
Sporting thereafter took the grip of the game and attacked desperately. They missed back-to-back two or three genuine chances from handshaking distance. Debjit did a brilliant job to save those attempts.
Their desperation finally yielded them a winning goal in the 87th minute when Odafa Okolie unleashed a spectacular shot at the back of the net. The Nigerian showed his class with the second goal. Mohun Bagan players looked tired on the field and their sloppy game proved blunderous.
Mohun Bagan are now tied at the top position with Bengaluru FC on 32 points from 17 games. On the other hand these three points will prove to be an oxygen for rock bottom side Sporting Clube de Goa, who registered their maiden win in the Hero I-League.