United Sikkim's sojourn in the I-League was brought to a premature halt as they were relegated after being thumped at home by Sporting clube de Goa...United Sikkim FC will ply their trade in the I-League second division next season as they have no chances of staying up in the top division after suffering a 3-0 loss to Sporting Clube de Goa on Sunday. Even if they do win their final two matches, they would only accumulate 21 points which won't be enough.
Dawson Fernandes, who returned from suspension, scored the opener in the 10th minute, while midfielder Pratesh Shirodkar doubled the lead for his side during injury time of the first half (45+2') and Japanese striker Seiya Sugishita sealed victory late in the second half (90+1').
Just after ten minutes of play, Dawson Fernandes put the away team ahead with a firm header. Nathan Hall's men could have scored the equaliser, but Spanish striker Pablo Aracil Rodriguez's cross disguised as a shot came off the bar and the rebound was headed over the target by Nurudeen Salau.
Things got even worse for United Sikkim seconds before the half time whistle. It was Dawson again who exploited the acres of space left by the struggling Snow Lions defence, before the Sporting striker unleashed a shot that was kept out by rival keeper Rakshit Kumar, diving to his left. However the onrushing Pratesh Shirodkar made the most of it, as he arrived from nowhere to head it back in, with the keeper stranded.
The visitors played conservatively in the second half, allowing John Landa Matkin to initiate a couple of United Sikkim attacks but they were hardly able to test Sporting keeper Bruno Colaco.
A minute after regulation time, Ogba Kalu Nnanna's powerful free-kick from outside the area took a notable deflection off Seiya Sugishita which was enough to beat Rakshit for the third time, and just added cherry on top for Sporting.
The humiliating defeat which followed the 9-0 thumping by Salgaocar, just last week saw United Sikkim ending their short stint in the I-League. A campaign which began so promisingly ended without so much as a whimper.
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