Juanfri, Victorino and Kalu netted as ten man Sporting Clube de Goa came from behind to overcome nine man Salgaocar FC 3-1 in the AIFF’s I-League at Duler Stadium, Mapusa on Wednesday. Salgaocar led through an Augustin strike at the interval.
In the second half, Salgaocar custodian Karanjit Singh and striker Josimar Da Silva were sent off, while Sporting Goa defender Joyner Lourenco was given his marching orders which changed the entire complexion of the match.
Salgaocar started with a very ferocious approach. This tough tackling definitely had Sporting Goa rattled, but also earned them four yellow cards in the opening half hour.
Salgaocar finally broke the deadlock in the 38th minute after Sporting Goa failed to clear the ball from a corner which allowed Augustin Fernandes to strike and give Salgaocar the lead with the final touch deflecting of a Sporting Goa player.
At half time Sporting Goa winger Stephene Barretto replaced midfielder Rojen Singh, while the tough tackling Pratesh Shirodkar moved from the wing into central midfield.
Salgaocar could have doubled their lead within ten minutes when Josimar Da Silva crossed from the left, but somehow Gabriel Obatola missed the target from hand-shaking distance.
The Panjim outfit decided they could not continue in the same fashion and soon brought on striker Victorino Fernandes in place of Mackroy Peixote.
This had the desired effect as within ten minutes Sporting Goa’s Juanfri equalised from the penalty spot after Victorino was sent sprawling to the deck by the Salgaocar goalkeeper.
The referee checked with his assistant before awarding the spot kick and also sent off Karanjit in the process. Gabriel had to be sacrificed for Salgaocar when they brought on their second goalkeeper Pavan Kumar.
The drama did not end there as within three minutes, the busy referee reached for his pocket to send off Salgaocar’s Josimar for kicking out and Sporting Goa’s Joyner for retaliating.
With Sporting Goa having the numerical advantage, they continuously bombed forward at every occasion, pinning their opponents into their own half for long periods of the game.
In the last fifteen minutes, Sporting Goa replaced Joval Martins with winger Freiman Peixote to exploit his pace and add a further dimension to the side.
Deep into injury time the Flaming Oranje finally cracked the code, after Kalu’s shot from a Stephene cross was hooked off the goalline, allowing the prowling Victorino to put Sporting Goa ahead.
With virtually the last kick off the game, Sporting Goa’s top goal-scorer Ogba Kalu added his tenth off the season as he scooped the ball over the Salgaocar custodian to finish a neat pass
from Juanfri. [NT]