Sporting pips Vasco by 1-0

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Margao, Sep 26 (UNI) A dying minute goal by Nigerian Junior Eligah enabled Sporting clu de Goa to edge out Vasco Sports club by 1-0 and open the account with full points in the hard fought opening match of the ONGC I-League football championship, being played at Nehru stadium Fatorda here today.

It was a tale of missed chances for both the teams in the evenly balanced both the halves of the match.

Sporting came up with a first good move in the 15th minute of the first half and could have been up by a goal, had not Vasco's goalkeepr Laximikant Kathimani brought a fine save off a header from Jaychandra Singh. Ten minuts later Vasco's Agnelo D'Souza, after collecting a pass from Minino Fernandes, made a well attempted try but Sportiing Goalkeepr Felix D'Souza parried away.

Soon after in the 31st minute, Vasco had another chance to surge ahead when Abdul Shamina initiated a move and pass to better placed Minino Fernandes, whose shot sailed inches over the bar. In the 37th minute of the first half, Sporting was almost in the lead but Joseph Pereria's powerpacked shot crushed into the framework and wasted. It was a good pass from Wliton Gomes.

Three minutes before the half time, Vasco could have moved ahead, when Minino Fernandes unleashed a shot which hit Abhisek Yadav and was about to enter into the goal but Sporting Goalkeepr Felix's timely save, rescued his team from any damage and at half time the scoreboard remained blank.

After cross over, Sporting made some deserate attempts for the match winner and came near scoring in the 53rd minute with Nigerian Junior Eligah initiating the move and pass to Micky Fernandes, who in quick sucession switched over the ball to Joseph Pereira, who failed to control ball and delayed to take shot, which was collected in time by rival goalkeeper. Then in the 72nd minute Sporting had another chance to score, but Vasco's goalkeeper Kattimani blocked Bisheswar Singh's attempt.

Towards the close of the play, Vasco accelerated the pace of their game and came near scoring on a couple of occasions in the 83rd and 84th minute, but on the both occasions Minino Fernandes' header sailed over the bar.

Sporting managed to score the match winner in the last minute of the second half through Junior Eligah off a well measured cross pass received from Chandrashekar Chinta.

Vasco Defender Covan Lawrence was today adjudged the man of the match for his fine performance.

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