Ranti Martins and Eric Brown were on the score sheet as Eelco Schattorie's men secured a comfortable three points on their own turf.United Sports Club began their I-League campaign on a winning note as they registered a 2-0 win over Rangdajied United on Sunday at the Salt Lake Stadium with second half goals from Ranti Martins and Eric Brown.
The home side started the game in a 4-4-2 formation with Sangram Mukherjee between the sticks. Belo Rasaq and Anupam Sarkar paired up at the heart of the defense, while Deepak Mondal and Dhanchandra Singh completed the defensive quartet.
Lalkamal Bhowmick and K. Asif played formed a double pivot in the middle of the pitch while the Bengali duo of Tapan Maity and Biswajit Biswas provided the width down the flanks. Eric Brown and Ranti Martins were deployed up front for the cash-strapped side.
Santosh Kashyap's side on the other hand, started with a 4-3-3, with Edmar Figueira playing as the front man. Yohei Iwasaki and Eugeneson Lyngdoh were given the freedom to attack. The defensive line was led by former Churchill Brothers player, Lamine Tamba.
The game started at a slow pace, with both teams sitting back and waiting for the other to make the first move. However, the game witnessed a cheeky bit of management from Eelco Schattorie. Since the rules dictate that an U-23 player must play for at least 5 minutes, Biswajit was replaced with Indian international C.K.Vineeth after 6 minutes.
Lyngdoh popped up with the first real chance for Rangdajied in the 17th minute. The youngster utilized the free space he was afforded by the United defense and his low shot called Sangram into action although it was a comfortable save in the end.
Ranti Martins and Vineeth were then involved in the best chance of the half five minutes later. Tapan Maity's corner was headed goalwards by Ranti but was brilliantly saved by Sujay Kumar Paryar. On the rebound, Vineeth's powerful shot was gathered by the custodian but the United players claimed that the ball crossed the line. Their appeals were ignored by the referee.
In the 41st minute, a long ball found Edmar Figueira completely unmarked. With only Sangram to beat, his weak header was well off target and let United Sports of the hook with the last chance of the first half.
United Sports piled on the pressure in the second half and got their reward in the 65th minute. Eric Brown floated in a free-kick which fell perfectly for Ranti. Unmarked in the six yard box, the striker made no mistake with his header which gave his team the lead.
Rangdajied gave a good account of themselves on the day but lacked impetus in attack. In the 75th minute they conceded again as Eric Brown opened his account at his new club. From the edge of the box, his dipping shot caught out Paryar and doubled United's lead.
In stoppage time, Eric came close with another good strike. The shot forced a good save from Paryar. Rangdajied failed to create any clear-cut opportunities and the final whistle confirmed a 2-0 win for the hosts.
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.