Mohammedan who played the entire second half with ten men managed to defeat high flying Sporting Goa who lacked tooth upfront..Ten-man Mohammedan Sporting beat Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1 at home in an I-League encounter at Salt Lake Stadium on Friday afternoon. Mehrajuddin Wadoo was sent off for the hosts in the 44th minute but goals from Luciano Sabrosa (12'), Josimar (24') and Nirmal Chettri (83') secured the win. Meanwhile, Cajetan Fernandes pulled one back for the visitors in the 39th minute.
Manager Sanjoy Sen gave new recruit Taro Hasegawa a start while Ishfaq Ahmed was out injured. The Japanese striker played off Josimar who started up front with Penn Orji operating in a withdrawn midfield role alongside Manish Maithani. Israil Gurung and Syed Rahim Nabi were the chosen wingers.
Sporting Clube de Goa meanwhile made four changes from the team that held Pune FC to a draw. Martins Ekwueme who was brought in as a replacement for the injured Arturo Garcia made his debut in midfield for the Flaming Oranje while Boima Karpeh who had a howler in the last match was relegated to the bench with Victorino Fernandes given a start up front.
It was Mohammedan who could have been in front in the seventh minute itself when a long ball from Dhana Rajan almost found Josimar free but was unfortunately ruled offside. A minute later, an innocuous long ball from Mohan Raj found the Black and Whites defense in sixes and sevens as Luis Barreto made a hash of a regulation clearance and Martins could have made an impact on his debut but his powerful shot hit the crossbar.
Manish Maithani headed straight to the keeper from an Israil Gurung corner in the 10th minute. However, it was in the following minute that they won a penalty as Keenan Almeida bundled over Josimar in the box after the striker Josimar exchanged passes with Penn. Luciano Sobrosa stepped up and made no mistake, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and giving Mohammedan the lead.
The Flaming Oranje came close in the 20th minute after a surging run by Beevan D Mello allowed Ogba Kalu to find Victorino whose angled shot just went wide of the far post.
Just like the last goal, Mohammedan struck after a let off on the other end. Josimar chested the ball into the path of Penn Orji to initiate the break with the latter found Israil Gurung on the right. Gurung demonstrated fine vision picking out Taro with an inch perfect lofted through ball.
Although the Japanese's first touch let him down, he did manage to get a shot away. The weak effort was parried by Ravi Kumar only for Josimar to pounce and finish into an empty net in the 24th minute.
Just at the half hour mark, Cajetan played a lovely through pass which dissected the Mohammedan defense and found Kalu who was clean through but was let down by a poor first touch allowing Luciano to recover.
A lack of communication between the goakeeper and Gonzalo Neila almost gifted Mohammedan an easy chance. Taro's pressing allowed Josimar to take the ball off Neila but his poor first touch meant Ravi Kumar gathered the ball, making up for his mistake.
This time it was Sporting Clube de Goa who capitalised at the other end in the 39th minute. Mohan Raj's surging run from the back went unchecked and he was allowed to send in a low cross across the face of the goal. Although Kalu failed to connect, Cajetan Fernandes struck it sweetly sending the ball into the far corner.
In a match marred with sloppiness, Mehrajuddin Wadoo was too casual on the ball after receiving a back pass allowing Beevan D Mello to snatch the ball off him. In his bid to recover, Wadoo managed to bring down Beevan clumsily just before half-time and was rightly sent off as he was the last man.
In the second half, instead of getting in close and testing Barreto, the Flaming Oranje were content with having a go from range with Kalu, Neila and Pratesh Shirodkar all working the goal keeper with shots from outside the box.
The Black and Whites put men behind the ball and were restricted to the occasional break. In one such counter-attack in the 68th minute after Penn Orji had headed the ball into the path of Josimar, it took a well timed challenge from Neila to avert the danger with Luciano bearing down towards goal.
It was suprising that Oscar Bruzon's men were not putting the numerical advantage to good use as they were mostly content in playing long balls or testing Luis Barreto from range. It was Victorino who made an effort to get into the box but even his finishing was poor.
It was Mohammedan Sporting who built a two goal advantage clearly showing how wasteful their opponents were from set-pieces. A corner by Syed Rahim Nabi was headed by Manish Maithani at the near post towards a free Nirmal Chhetri who had made a run and nodded it into the empty net, almost sealing the match against a toothless Sporting attack.
In a second half which was devoid of much excitement, Mohammedan managed to not only hold on but score, thus ending their four match losing streak. Meanwhile, Bruzon will have a lot to think about with an inspid beginning to the second half of the I-League after a trail blazing first.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.