Sporting hold Salgaocar to 1-1 draw

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Margao, Jan 24 (UNI) A second-half penalty by Denzil Franco enabled Sporting Club de Goa hold bottom-placed Salgaocar Sports Club to a 1-1 draw and split points in their 13th round ONGC I-League Championship football match played at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, here today.

Felix Chimawkou scored in the 26th minute for Salgaocar, while Denzil Franco equalised for Sporting in the 63rd minute.

With this draw, Sporting increased their points tally to 13, while Salgaocar remained at the bottom with six points from 13 outings.

In a fast paced and evenly-balanced first-half, Sporting came up with the first good move as early as in the second minute, but Salgaocar goalkeeper Marcus Basumatari brought off two good saves, attempted one after another by Olushola Ogundare and Harmanjot Singh Khabra following a flag kick by Bisheshwar Singh.

Sporting had another good chance in the seventh minute when Junior Elijah initiated a move and passed to better-placed Olushula. But before Olushula could do any damage, Salgaocar's Samson Fernades cleared away the ball.

Salgaocar came near to scoring in the 10th minute when Nicolas Rodrigues sent a direct free kick to Felix whose header hit the goal post and rebounded back into play.

Salgaocar surged ahead in the 26th minute through Felix Chimawkou. The goal was a result of a fine combined move when Malswama passed to Milagres Gonsalves who, in quick succession, switched over the ball to Felix. After dodging past a couple of rival defenders and controlling the ball well, Felix unleashed a shot at the far corner of the net to make it 1-0.

Stung by the debacle, Sporting raided the rival citadel and could have equalised in the 34th minute when Junior Elijah passed to Wilton Gomes whose powerpacked shot was smartly saved by Salgaocar goalkeeper Marcos.

Sporting restored parity in the 63rd minute through Denzil Franco from a penalty. Referee Minangsu Bhattacharya awarded the spot kick to Sporting when Junior Elijah, moving with the ball dangerously, was brought down in the danger zone by Salgaocar goalkeeper Marcos. Franco converted the spot kick correctly to make it 1-1.

Salgaocar had a chance to increase their lead in the 73rd minute but Felix' attempted shot sailed over the bar following a flag kick by Nicholas Rodrigues.

Salgaocar's Felix Chimawkou was later adjudged the man of the match for his fine performance.

UNI SRN MAZ AB AS1914

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