Sporting Clube hold Vasco SC in 2-2 thriller

Mapusa: Sporting Clube de Goa staring at defeat scored in the final minutes to hold Vasco Sports Club to a thrilling 2 -2 draw in the Goa Professional League, at Duler stadium, here, on Tuesday.

A draw was a blow to both teams as Sporting needing to top spot in the league table remain on 44 points while for Vasco SC who are on 20 points are fighting relegation.

Both the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of first half. Anil Gaonkar and Mathew Colaco scored for Vasco while Sporting rallied to get back on level terms twice through Philip Odogwu and Joseph Clemente.

It was Vasco who looked more threatening in the initial stages of the match and in the second minute Micky Vaz released Anil Gaonkar with a clever pass who after getting past a host of Sporting defenders was timely dispossessed by Alton Vaz before he could fire the ball into the net.

Vasco finally succeeded in opening the scoring in the sixth minute when Anil Gaonkar after controlling a pass from Mainoo Dadanuvoor darted into the box, outfoxed two defenders and calmly beat the advancing Sporting keeper U20 Akshat with a low grounder to give his side the lead.

Sporting keeper Akshat Hadkonkar then brought a smart save in the 17th minute to deny Vasco’s Mathew Colaco in a one-to-one situation after being put through by Suraj Mondal.

The Flaming Oranje who were on the back-foot got back into the match with the equalising goal in the 25th minute through Nigerian Philip Odogwu who leaped high to meet a curling corner kick by George and head the ball into the nets leaving no chance to keeper Sanju Thapa, 1-1

Minutes into the match, Sporting had a decent chance of doubling their lead when a long thrown in by George saw Philip flick the ball to Marcus Mascarenhas who failed to get head the ball into the net.

Crossing ends, Sporting in need of a win showed more urgency and it need the brilliance of Vasco keeper Sanju Thapa to first stop George D`Souza’s fierce shot and then to keep out a rasping 30-yard free-kick by Stendly Fernandes which had taken a deflection after hitting defender Mainoo.

Vasco lads after a promising first half fizzled out in the second half but stunned Sporting with the second goal in the 73rd minute capitalising on a miss pass by defender Sheldon which saw Mathew Colaco pounce onto it and smash the ball past the keeper to make it 2-1.

Vasco keeper Sanju proved a hard nut to crack for Sporting under the bar who this time denied Marcus Mascarenhas vicious shot from crashing into the net ten minutes later.

Just when it looked Vasco had done enough to return home with full three points they conceded a penalty in the 90th minute when Anil Gaonkar tripped Sporting’s Assumption inside the penalty box. Stopper back Joseph Clemente who took the responsibility showed great composure to send the keeper the wrong way to make it 2-2.

“I am very disappointed with the way he played the game. First it was clear handball and that too deliberately but referee gave the decision for a corner. And they scored from it. As per rule it should have been a yellow card for cheating a a referee. The last minute penalty decision was also wrong we have a video proof of that. The same referee spoiled our last game and still he was appointed for today’s match and he repeated it again,” said Vasco SC manager Jagdish Raikar. [H]