Thursday, June 13, 2024
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SC Goa stun Salgaocar; Prayag win

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PANAJI: Sporting Clube de Goa caught Salgaocar by surprise with a 4-2 demolition in a fourth round I-league football clash at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Saturday.

South Sudan striker James Moga was the hero of Sporting Clube’s amazing triumph with a brilliant hat-trick while Nigerian midfielder Ogba Kalu scored the other goal for the winners. Edeh Chidi and Ryuji Sueoka scored the goals for Salgaocar. The teams were locked 2-2 at the change of ends.

Salgaocar took the lead even before people had taken their seats, and probably, even before the stuttering Sporting Clube defence had a settled look to it. Chidi, menacing as ever, worked down the right and essayed a ball in the goalmouth where Sueoka controlled the ball but was brought down by Rojen Singh leading to a penalty which Sueoka himself converted in the third minute.

Sporting Clube got back into the match immediately. Moga won a freekick just outside the box and the striker left everyone stunned when he curled the ball majestically into the goal.

Salgaocar were dangerous while launching the attacks but left themselves exposed to a counter attack.

Salgaocar looked vulnerable after being a goal down and survived two close calls which could have probably ended the match as a contest. Salgaocar finally got the equaliser at the stroke of half time when Sueoka’s ball into the heart of the Sporting defence saw a flutter of activity, bad defending and a sudden rush from Chidi to turn the ball home.

Sporting Clube turned the screws in the second session. Kalu first came up with a brilliant low header of Joseph Pereira’s freekick in the 64th minute and a minute later, Moga completed his hat-trick with a trademark header from inside the danger zone.

In another match Prayag United SC came out of their streak of draws in style with a sound 5-1 thrashing of Pune FC in their fourth round I-League fixture at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata.

Pune FC missed their goalkeeper Subrata Paul sorely as United SC’s Brazilian forward Joshimar D’Silva Martins fired a hattrick (17′, 55′ and 80′) in the six-goal thriller.

Lalkamal Bhowmick (6′) and Kiwi Kayne Vincent (77′) completed the rout for United SC, while Pune FC scored their only goal through Japanese recruit Izumi Arata (29′).

United SC now have six points from four matches, while Pune FC have five from four matches. The Durand Cup runners-up took an early lead when captain Lalkamal struck with a fine right-footer beating Pune FC goalkeeper Shahinlal Meloly.

Joshimar opened his account when Vincent’s short pass beat two Pune defenders before the Brazilian scored a beautiful goal to give the local side a 2-0 lead.

Pune FC brought one back when Arata scored from a long ranger.

But the local outfit added one more when Joshimar struck his second beating Meloly once again before lobbing the ball over in an open net.

Vincent made it 4-1 when a Bello Rasaq freekick went into the Pune box as Joshimar took the shot that deflected from Meloly. Vincent converted the goal from the deflection.

Joshimar completed his hattrick with a brilliant solo run as the Brazilian beat the helpless Pune FC custodian with a big rout. (Agencies)

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