The Red and Gold outfit produced another laboured display and just about managed to sneak in a point...Sporting Clube de Goa were held to a 1-1 draw by East Bengal at the Duler Stadium, Goa, in a round nine I-League clash on Tuesday.
The Flaming Oranje took the lead towards the closing stages of the first half through a spot-kick converted by Dawson Fernandes. However, just when it looked like they had snapped full points, an injury time own goal by Gonzalo Hinojal Neila helped the Kolkata outfit take a point from the tie.
The Goan side started with only one foreigner in their squad in defender Gonzalo Hinojal Neila while Boima Karpeh was serving his suspension. Ogba Kalu Nnanna missed out through an injury and Arturo Novarro Garcia was ill. Oscar Bruzon Barreras started with Dawson Fernandes and Victorino Fernandes in attack.
Marcos Falopa started with three former Sporting players, namely James Moga, Harmanjot Khabra and Cavin Lobo, with the South Sudadenese playing the lone striker's role while Uga Okpara partnered Arnab Mondal at the back.
Lalrindika Ralte was East Bengal's player to watch as the tricky midfielder burst into the opponents' half and also hit the side netting in the 11th minute.
Sporting's first attempt on goal came in the 18th minute when Cajetan Fernandes worked his way around Robert Lalthlamuana, Cavin Lobo and Mehtab Hossain before forcing Abhijit Mondal to pull off a save.
Center-backs Arnab Mondal and Uga Okpara, along with their goalkeeper did well to ward-off the home side as they blocked attempts on goal by Jovel Martins, Rowllin Borges and Victorino respectively.
In the 37th minute, Pratesh Shirodkar got past Robert and tried to find Joyner Lourence inside the box, but Okpara somehow managed to clear tha ball amidst the confusion in the box.
The Flaming Oranje eventually broke the deadlock after Harmanjot Khabra was guilty of bringing down Victorino in the box, while Dawson stepped up to take the penalty. The striker placed his effort in the top left corner, but referee Ratheesh Kumar asked for a re-take as Martins entered the box before the kick was taken
Dawson took the penalty for the second time and slotted it past Abhijit Mondal's left to put his side a goal ahead at half-time.
Three minutes into the second half and Moga, in a moment of madness, attempted to handle the ball inside the box to put in Lobo’s cross. Luckily for him, there was no contact else he could have been booked.
Around the hour mark, Rowllin Borges sent in a teasing cross from the left which saw Mondal just about managing to save Victorino’s shot. Dawson was the guilty party as he scrambled the rebound wide from close range.
Thereafter the two coaches made their substitutions in order to add more pace to the game. Moga was guilty on a number of occasions of straying in an offside position.
The equalizer came in the fourth minute of the injury time from a Mehtab Hossain free-kick which brushed Gonzalo on its way into the back of the net.
The scoreline remained the same as the Kolkata side snatched a point from the jaws of defeat while the Goan outfit would view it as a case of two points lost.
Follow Anselm Noronha on
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.