Sporting Clube de Goa and Shillong Lajong play out exciting 1-1 draw
Sporting Clube de Goa fail to register their maiden victory in the Hero I-League after sharing honours with Shillong Lajong at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa. Anthony Wolfe gave the home side the much needed lead as early as in the 4th minute, but Shillong Lajong’s star striker Cornell Glen restored parity in first half itself. Shillong Lajong custodian Vishal Kaith and Sporting defender Joyner Laurenco were sent off.
Mateus Costa made two changes in the starting lineup. Ravi Kumar replaced an underperforming Lalit Thapa in the goalkeeper’s position as the latter looked shaky in the previous game against East Bengal. Boimah Carpeh replaced Beevan De’Mello. In the absence of Rehenesh T.P, who is on national duty, Vishal Kaith came into the starting lineup.
Odafa and Wolfe combine for Sporting
The hosts looked hungry for a win from the very first minute. They went all guns blazing and were looking dangerous. Their positive approach earned them an early goal when Odafa Okolie collected the ball in the midfield and forwarded a perfect cross towards strike partner Wolfe. Anthony Wolfe made no mistake and finished calmly.
As the game progressed, things became exciting and both the teams attacked continuously. Cornel Glenn got a couple of chances but was denied a goal.
The much needed equaliser came in the 42nd minute. Glenn received a ball at the edge of the box from Joseph. He dribbled past Rojen Singh and completed a neat finish. Ravi Kumar had no chance.
Lajong stave off Sporting offensive
Just after the game restarted, Lajong’s inexperienced junior goalkeeper handled a cross outside the box. He was completely unaware of his positioning and displayed naivety. The referee immediately displayed the red card, and Lajong were down to ten men.
Odafa Okolie slowly became dangerous and glimpses of his yesteryears’ form were visible as the game wore on. He got a golden opportunity to find his name on the score sheet when he blasted a pile driver at the Lajong goal. Unluckily the ball jolted the crossbar and came back. Had it been on target, new custodian Kunzang Bhutia would not have any chance of saving it.
Sporting failed to enjoy their man advantage for as long as defender Joyner Laurenco was at fault of fouling Penn Orji. The referee booked him the second time and sent him off.
It was an exciting match overall as the teams at the bottom of the league table failed to improve their position. Sporting Clube de Goa are yet to win in this campaign.