Laxmi Prasad staged a spectacular come-back as they rallied to hold Clube Sao Miguel de Taleigao 2-2 in an 8th Round First Division League football match at Duler Stadium, here, Saturday. Taleigao led 2-0 at half time.
Taleigao changed their strategy against an unbeaten Laxmi Prasad side and fielded winger Marc Fernandes upfront alongside Pramod Madolkar as they surged ahead in the first minute through Marc. Player-cum-coach Levino Pereira essayed in a pass to Pramod in the right flank, who sent in a dangerous ball to Vincy Fernandes but the latter’s powerful header was blocked by a rival defender and fell back to unmarked Marc, who bulged the nylons from close range.
Subsequently, six minutes later, Vincy moved swiftly into the box and unleashed a venomous shot that hit the horizontal.
Stung by the setback, Laxmi Prasad, regrouped quickly but Dominc Fernandes’ volley missed the mark narrowly in the 10th minute.
At the other end, Taleigao were spurred by the opener and could have doubled their lead in the 18th minute but Pramod’s shot was blocked by Laxmi Prasad goalkeeper Silton Fernandes.
In the 27th minute, Taleigao’s Thomson Fernandes was booked by referee Jose Fernandes for his dangerous challenge on Domnic.
At the half hour mark, Laxmi Prasad squandered a golden opportunity to equalize after Taleigao defender Maulau Naik failed to clear a dangerous cross from the left flank by Laxmi Prasad’s Milton Gomes as the ball fell in the path of unmarked Domnic, who failed to finish from hand-shaking distance.
Taleigao were making good use of the width to keep the rival defenders on their toes as Vincy set up Bazileo Rego outside the box and the last named pulled out a screamer as his venomous 30-yarder caught Silton napping in the 39th minute.
After resumption, Taleigao started defensively and allowed Laxmi Prasad to take charge as substitute Sangam Pednekar made the most of the given advantage to unleash a powerful strike that was eventually blocked by diving Taleigao goalkeeper Risven Fernandes.
Laxmi Prasad went all guns blazing and pulled one back in the 64th minute as Lavino Fernandes slotted past the rival custodian after Milton Gomes had done the spade-work.
Then, nine minutes later, Milton’s out-swinging floater was punched away by Risven but fell in the path of Laxmi Prasad substitute Alvito Miranda who made no mistake to level the scores.
In the dying minutes, Vincy had a golden chance to score the match-winner but the latter’s close ranger went inches wide.
Laxmi Prasad continued their unbeaten run which keeps them at the top of the standings with 18 points while Taleigao have collected nine points from eight outings.
At Poriat ground, Calangute, Calangute Association drubbed Salcete Football Club 4-1. Joe Colaco (3) and Ashley Lobo scored for Calangute while Jouston Barbosa pulled one back for Salcete.
Calangute are on 16 points from eight matches while Salcete have seven points from the same number of outings. [H]