Only one goal was needed to decide the tie between as Salgaocar FC succumbed to their third defeat of this campaignSalgaocar FC lost 0-1 to Sporting Clube de Goa in a 12th round I-League encounter at the Duler Stadium, Goa, on Sunday evening. A 23rd minute strike from Ogba Kalu Nnanna was enough to secure the win for the Flaming Oranje.
Derrick Pereira made two changes to his starting eleven as Fulganco Cardozo and Brian Mascarenhas were given the nod, while Clifton Dias started on the bench while Claude Gnakpa has been released by the club.
On the other side, Oscar Bruzon preferred to start with defender Deepak Devrani while relegating midfielder Cajetan Fernandes to the bench.
Boima Karpeh could have given Sporting the lead as early as the third minute but he opened up his body only to shoot straight into the hands of rival goalkeeper Karanjit Singh after the Ivorian-Australian was released by Mauvin Borges.
A contentious penalty was given by referee B. Balasubramaniam in the seventh minute after the ball seemed to have dropped on the hand of Salgaocar's Chika Wali in the box in the defender's attempt to ward off Karpeh. However, Karanjit Singh dived to his left to block Kalu's spot-kick.
Sporting ultimately broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute when Karpeh relayed Garcia's pass to Kalu and the Nigerian found his way past Karanjit Singh this time.
A fumble by Ravi Kumar, who came out to catch the ball, could have allowed Salgaocar to score the equaliser in the 33rd minute as the goalkeeper's clearance landed at the feet of Darryl Duffy. Gonzalo stood in the way of the Scot's initial shot while the ball was ultimately scrambled clear.
After the hour mark, the Sporting custodian came off his line to avert the danger with Karma Tsewang through on goal. The ball went as far as Milagres Gonsalves whose shot came off a Sporting defender for Oliviera to shoot wide.
Milagres had another opportunity to score the leveler but his toe-poke was rather tame from a cross sent in by Gilbert Oliviera in the 70th minute.Karpeh found Kalu inside the box but the Nigerian took way too long before lining up a shot which allowed Augustin Fernandes sweep the ball to safety. Karpeh and Kalu combined once again in the 82nd minute as the former’s cross from the right saw the latter miss the target from inside the box despite being unmarked.
Karpeh could have scored his second of the evening as he picked up a pass by Mathew Gonsalves at the half-way line, eased past Chika Wali’s challenge only to see his shot come off the post after it had already beaten Karanjit in goal.
The score-line remained the same until the final whistle as Sporting Clube de Goa pull themselves equal on points (18) with Salgaocar FC.
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