GOA: Sporting Clube de Goa came back from behind twice to hold on a spirited Guardian Angel SC at Ambelim Ground on Sunday. Djourou Issac (18’) and Sanwil D’Costa (81’) gave the lead to Guardian Angel while Cajetan Fernandes (58’) & Francis Dadzie (89’) drew level for Sporting.
Sporting Gaffer Costa went in with an unchanged side from his previous victory and stuck to the 4 -1 – 3 – 2 formation with Dadzie and Victorino leading the attack.
Sporting had their first look on the net in the 8th minute when Glan Martins tried to pick out Seriton Fernandes who made a good run from the right but Anthony Pereira saved the day for Guardian Angel SC with a last gap clearance. In the 18th minute Guardian Angel caught the Sporting defense by surprise when Djourou Issac made a shrewd run from outside the box to receive a good cross from Yakubu Mohammed, the former got a clean strike beating Ravi Kumar to put Guardian Angel ahead. After conceding the goal Sporting launched series of attacks trying to level things, Dadzie and Daryl both saw their on target attempts deflected off for a corner. In the 37th minute Sporting won a free kick outside the 18 yard box, Cajetan Fernandes who took a perfect right footer saw his attempt kept out by the wood work. Guardian Angel put out a strong defensive performance making it impossible for the Sporting forwards to crack through. The match stayed 1 – 0 in favour of Guardian Angel SC at the break.
Switching ends Sporting kept knocking at the Guardian Angel goal hoping to sneak one in. After a few half chances produced by Victorino and Dadzie Sporting once again won a free kick at about 30 yards off the net. Cajetan Fernandes this time made not mistake beating the keeper with a top quality strike to put the visitors on level terms. Sporting should have taken the lead when their striker Victorino displayed some brilliant ball control to round off the keeper and having only one defender to beat however the number 14 could only manage a weak shot which was cleared brilliantly by Micky Fernandes of GASC. Sporting’s high pressing game was exploited when Guardian Angel launched a good counter attack to win a corner in the 81st minute. A well directed corner kick saw Sanwil D’Costa of GASC score a stunning goal to leave Sporting players and supporters shocked. On the back foot Sporting gaffer put everything he had on to the field by bringing in Ganesh Thakur and Marcus Mascarenhas in addition to the earlier introduced Joseph Pereira trying to find their way back into the match. Just when it looked like Sporting were staring at their first defeat of this season Costa’s gamble worked well as the second half sub Joseph Pereira made a dazzling run on the left to find the Ghanian centre forward in a good position within the box, the latter made up for all the chances wasted by netting the goal in the 89th minute to bring back the visitors on level terms for the second time in the match. The added time saw tensions building as either side wanted to walk away with 3 points. The match took an ugly turn when Ponif Vaz of Sporting and Anthony Pereira of GASC were involved in an on field tussle which saw the former being sent off with a red while the latter cautioned with yellow. With the match ending in a stalemate both teams had to be contained with a point each. Sporting extended their undefeated streak to a staggering 12 matches collecting 28 points while maintaining the pole position while Guardian Angel stay at 6th spot with 17 points.