Sporting Clube De Goa came back from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against ONGC in the capital's Ambedkar stadium on Saturday.
The hosts came out all guns blazing and established a lead through Keniston within eight minute and that lead was doubled in five minutes time when Eric Brown slotted in to make it 2-0 to the hosts. However, the visitors hit back with two quick fire goals midway through the second half first through Ogba Kalu Nnanna from the penalty spot and then Seiya Sugishita smashed in the equaliser twenty minutes from time.
Defender Hassan Odeola and midfielder Yusa Katsumi returned to the ONGC starting XI for this fixture after serving their respective suspensions, while Rehensh TP replaced suspended goalkeeper Prasenjit Ghosh. For Sporting under new head coach Oscar Bruzon Barreras, goalkeeper Agnel Gomes was handed his I-League debut, while Seiya Sugishita joined Dawson Fernandes in the attack with Ogba Kalu Nnanna driving the midfield.
ONGC started on the front foot and were duly rewarded for their efforts in the 8th minute. Larinmuama’s free-kick from 10 yards out was parried by Agnelo Gomes in the Sporting goal but Keniston was on hand to tap in the rebound and give the hosts the lead. Their lead was soon doubled when Eric Brown pounced on a loose ball and shot into the bottom corner from 30 yards out, giving the goal keeper no chance. As the half progressed the visitors had settled into the game recovering from the early double shock.
Sporting brought on Stephen Barretto for Rowlin Borges in the 39th minute, soon after Jovel Martins received the only caution of the game.
The visitors made two more substitutions early in the second half bringing on Joyner Lourenco in place of Dawson Fernandes and Obiora came on in place of Boubacar.
The substitutions seemed to work for Sporting coach Bruzon as mid way through the second half Kalu Ogba converted from the penalty spot to reduce the deficit after Jovel Martins was fouled in the area by Robin Gurang. Minutes later the influential Martins was at it again as he headed the ball into the path of Japanese Seiya Sugishita who calmly slotted it past the on-rushing goalkeeper to level things up at 2-2. That proved the last goal of the game as both teams had to settle for a share of the spoils
The hosts will be disappointed with the result having thrown away a two goal lead. In a game in which both teams desperately needed a win, a point each means both remain firmly rooted in the bottom half of the table.
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