Prayag United ended their season with a 3-1 win over ONGC with Ranti Martins grabbing a brace.Prayag United comfortably dispatched ONGC 3-1 at the Kalyani Stadium on Saturday afternoon in an I-League fixture which was the final game of the season for both sides.
The league's top scorer, Ranti Martins scored a brace as he converted a penalty in the 29th minute and then added a second just before the break. Vincent's header in the 57th minute sealed the win for the hosts. A free-kick from Lalmuanpui grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors.
Prayag United started on the front foot as they seemlessly settled into their rythym. However it was the visitors who produced the first clear-cut opportunity of the game. In the 8th minute Fanai Lalmuanupia unleashed a low and hard shot towards the far corner from inside the penalty box but his effort was saved by Subrata Paul.
Prayag were playing a very high-line which made them vulnerable on the counter. Fortunately for the hosts, their opponents couldn't quite time their runs right.
In the 14th minute, Paul had to make a double save. Another quick break from ONGC saw Eric Brown released into the penalty area. The midfielder's left-footed strike was saved well by Prayag's custodian while he was able to rush out and deny Lalmuanupia on the rebound as well, bravely diving at the strikers feet.
A neat piece of play from Prayag in the 21st minute nearly broke the deadlock. A lobbed pass played Kayne Vincent through on goal and with Rehensh coming off his line, the Australian attemped a chipped finish. It nearly came off but for the fingertips of the keeper which helped the ball narrowly over the crossbar.
In the 28th minute, Vincent went on a surging run and was blatanly pushed aside by Odeola inside the box when he tried to cut back onto his right foot. A penalty was awarded and Ranti Martins converted from the spot with an accurate finish to the keeper's left.
In the 37th minute, Rafique made a great run behind the ONGC defense and having been played the ball, unleashed a fierce shot which was saved by Rehensh. A minute later, Martins beat the offside trap but the keeper was alert and came out just in time to avert the danger. Odeola had picked up an injury and was substituted in the 40th minute with Parwinder Singh taking his place.
In the 44th minute, Brown absolutely leathered the ball with his left foot just inside the left hand-side of the box and Subrata Paul did extremly well to produce an equally spectacular save. In first half stoppage time, Martins beat the offside trap as he latched on to a through ball and neatly lifted the it over the keeper to extend the homeside's lead.
There was one more piece of action in the first half. A lofted ball was chased down well by Vincent but Rehensh rushed off his line and cleared the danger just as the striker had set himself up for the shot.
Eric Brown continued to be ONGC's most lethal weapon in the second half. He teased and tormented Deepak Mandal in the penalty area before switching onto his left and shooting. Subrata Paul made a brilliant one-handed reflex save to deny the Liberian yet again.
On another day, Eric Brown may have scored a spectacular hat-trick but as it turned out, his best efforts continued to go unrewarded. In the 56th minute, a cross from the right from knocked down by Katsumi Yusa and Brown's overhead kick rattled the crossbar.
Two minutes later, a fantastic cross from Mandal found Vincent in the middle who comfortably nodded in Prayag's third goal. In the 70th minute, an indirect free kick from Lalmuanpuia drifted past everyone in the box and sailed into the Prayag net to hand the visitors a consolation goal.
ONGC nearly grabbed another goal in the 87th minute when a poor header fell to Keniston whose backheel was cleared off the line. That was the last bit of action from the game as Prayag ended their season on a high.
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