Ludhiana, May 2 (UNI) Punjab's premier soccer outfit JCT, Phagwara rallied from behind to edge out last year's runner-up Sporting Club de Goa 2-1 in a well contested match of the 10th National Football League (NFL) at the Guru Nanak stadium here today.
The goal scorers for the winners was their star striker Sunil Chhetri in the 55th minute and foreign recruit Jhonson Banner in the 84th minute. For the losers the lone goal came in the 50th minute through mid-fielder Nicholas Rodrigues.
After a dull and barren first half, the Goan outfit went into the lead when Nicholas Rodrigues intercepted a pass from Hardeep Saini inside the penalty area and his low shot beat the diving JCT custodian Kalyan Chaubey. Stung by the reverse, JCT's Brazilian recruit Marcos Periera, Rennedy Singh and Chhetri went into the attack and in the 55th minute Chhetri fired a low volley to beat Luis Barreto under the bar and level the scores.
Thereafter the millmen launched a number of attacks on the Sporting Clube'S citadel but the Goan mid-field manned by Saini, formerly of the JCT fell back to assit the defence and foil the menacing JCT strikers. Sporting Clube's dashing Nigerian recruits Dudu Omagdemi and Eheh Chidi also made a few forays into the rival defence but without any results.
Striker Johnson Banner sealed the match in favour of JCT in the 84 th minute when he trapped a header from Praveen Kumar inside the penaly area and sent a rasping shot into the net.
With this win JCT collected full points to take their tally to 20 points from 15 matches. Sporting Clube remain on 19 points from 13 matches.
UNI HS PG KP1950