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Rediff.com  » Sports » I-League: Sporting beat Air-India to score first win

I-League: Sporting beat Air-India to score first win

December 29, 2007 23:41 IST

Sporting Clube-de-Goa cashed on Air-India keeper Raju Ekka's blunder to score their first win in the eighth round of ONGC I-League at Nehru stadium in Margao on Saturday.

The only goal of the match was scored in the 40th minute by Man of the Match Elijah Obagbemiro, whose harmless free-kick dropped in front of the custodian and found the net.

Sporting now have six points from eight games while Air-India remained on seven.

Air-India's hopes of a comeback were dealt a severe blow when they were reduced to nine men in the second half with Uttam Singh and Samson Singh getting red cards.

For Sporting, Harmanjot Khabra, Denzil Franco and Elijah Obagbemiro were shown yellow cards.

Sporting started in right earnest putting pressure on the rival defence and could have taken an early lead but Lawerence Adjei missed the target from close with only keeper Raju Ekka to beat.

The hosts kept probing and came close to scoring but Ekka brought off a point blank save to deny Micky Fernandes.

Air-India made a counter move and earned a free-kick but Samson Singh saw his shot saved by keeper Luis Barreto.

Sporting's persistent efforts bore fruit when they earned a free-kick at the top of the box after Lawerence Adjei was brought down by defender Uttam Singh.

Obagbemiro, who took the kick, dropped the ball in front of the keeper who failed to collect, allowing the ball to enter the net.

After change of ends, Air-India showed more urgency in their attack but Bashiru Abbas missed two sitters to equalise.

They received a jolt in the 55th minute when Samson Singh got marching orders for a dangerous foul on Micky Fernandes.

Sporting, who were keen to defend their lead, had a chance to increase the lead in the 60th minute but substitute Bibiano Fernandes saw his shot hit the post and Elijah Obagbemiro hit the rebound out.

Air-India lost another man when defender Uttam Singh was sent off after earning his second booking which ended Air-India's hopes of a comeback.

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