Margao, Jan 9 (UNI) Nigerian Elijah Junior's second-half goal was enough for Sporting Club de Goa to get better of former champions Mohan Bagan by 1-0 and earn full points in their tenth round ONGC I-League championship match played at the Nehru Stadium Fatorda here today.
The all-important goal for Sporting came in the 85th minute, which ultimately turned out to be the match winner.
Sporting, who have bettered their performance in the last two outings with wins, today registered their third consecutive win and increased their points tally to 12 from ten outings. Mohan Bagan remained on the same 14 points from an equal number of outings.
In an evenly balanced first half, which was restricted to the midfield for major part of the game, there were no dangerous moves, although Sporting had an edge.
Sporting came with the first good move as early as in the 12th minute but Joseph Pereira's long-ranger shot sailed over the bar.
Mohan Bagan, too, had a chance to surge ahead in the 25th minute but Sporting goalkeeper Luis Barreto collected the direct free kick by Dharamjit Singh, well.
A minute before the breather, the home team could have moved ahead when Ghanian Adjei Lawrence attempted a full-blooded shot but Mohan Bagan goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee brought off a smart save. At half time, the scoreboard remained blank.
After a barren first half, both the teams made some desperate attempts to score the match winner. Sporting managed to score the victory goal five minutes before the long whistle through Nigerian striker Elijah to seal the fate of Mohan Bagan.
It was a long floater cross from Danzil Franco which Sporting's Harmanjot Khabra made an attempt to score with weak header. Bagan's N S Manju failed to clear the ball and it went towards Elijah who was lurking inside the goal. Elijah pounced upon the opportunity and headed into the net to make it 1-0.
Sporting's Joseph Pereira was later adjudged the man of the match for his fine performance.
Mohan Bagan's Bhaichung Bhutia and Jose Ramirez Barreto were off colour today.
UNI SRN MAZ TB ND2022