Eelco Schattorie's side continued their brilliant start to the campaign by registering another vital three points...
United Sports Club made it two wins out of as many matches as they downed Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1 at the Kalyani Stadium, Kolkata on Sunday afternoon. Ranti Martins gave his lead the side in the first half which was cancelled out by Victorino Fernandes after the break. However goals from Biswajit Biswas and Eric Brown sealed the points for the home side.
Eelco Schattorie lined his team up in a 4-3-3 formation with Lalkamal Bhowmick and K.Asif starting in the middle of the park with C.K.Vineeth and Mohammed Rafique on the two flanks and Ranti Martins being the frontman. Eric Brown was handed the responsibility to feed the strikers with quality balls.
Oscar Barreras chose not to start with Ogba Kalu as he lacked match fitness. Boima Karpeh was the main striker for the travellers.
The first chance befell the away outfit as Boima Karpeh eased past a few opposition players and saw his strike from the edge of the box miss the goal by a few inches.
Thereafter in the 22nd minute Ranti Martins, who only had the goalkeeper to beat, fluffed his opportunity after Eric Brown sent a gem of a through-ball.
Ranti Martins made amends for his earlier miss in the very next minute as he beat the opposition custodian with ease to make it 1-0. Rafique played a diagonal ball for Vineeth on the right who did well to go past a couple of Sporting players to find the Nigerian striker in space who did the needful.
Sporting could have equalised through Victorino Fernandes but was denied by an alter Belo Rasaq. Anupam Sarkar didn’t track the run of the Goan striker and whle the Sporting no. 14 readied himself for a shot, Belo did well to block the attempt.
After the break, Ranti created a chance out of nowhere as he turned and saw his shot being fisted by the goalkeeper. The ball went as far as Rafique whose effort went over the bar.
Victorino Fernandes invaded the Sporting box only six minutes into the secind half and got into an one-on-one situation with Sangram Mukherjee, when the custodian was forced to bring all his experience to the fore to pull off a top save.
In the 56th minute, topsy-turvy defending from United reinforced parity in the match. On a wet field, Belo Rasaq slipped on the edge of the box which allowed Jovel Martins to feed Victorino Fernandes with the ball, who calmly slotted it home from eight yards out to make it 1-1.
Eric Brown was brilliant throughout the game, snatching the ball with ease and passing it to teammates with aplomb. The ex-ONGC man sent in a cross for Rafique on the opposite end of the box, who should have done better as his headed effort went wide.
Belo Rasaq was one of the busiest men on the field as the Nigerian defender came to the rescue of his side when he snatched the ball from Joseph Pereira’s feet only a couple of yards away from the goalline as the player was lining up to shoot, following a major defesive error from the United sideback Deepak Mondal.
Brown was once again involved in the thick of things for the home side as his powerful shot was parried away for a corner by goalkeeper Ravi Kumar.
However, the hosts got the relief after half an hour of sloppy display when they got into the lead once again through Biswajit Biswas, the U-23 member of the team. Ranti’s weak shot saw the goalkeeper fail to grapple the ball. Biswajit was at hand to send the ball home from handshaking distance.
However the best moment of the came in the injury time as Eric Brown ran for 60-yards or so by managing to evade every player on his way to unleash a tricky shot to find the back of the net.
It was a deserved victory for the home side as they persevered until the end. Schattorie wouldn’t have asked for a better start from his boys while Sporting will have to introspect as to what has gone wrong for them having garnered just a point from their opening two fixtures.