Substitute Ogba Kalu Nnanna struck after coming off the bench in the closing minutes to hand Sporting Clube de Goa a fine 3-2 win over a dogged Pailan Arrows in an intense round 14 fixture of the I-League at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Friday.
Victorina Fernandes broke Arrows' resistance early on with a brilliant 14th-minute goal but the local challengers, looking for their first win, struck two goals in the space of seven minutes to regain the lead.
Arrows centre-forward C S Sabeeth brought on the equaliser in the 28th minute while Bijendra Rai made it 2-1 in the 35th.
But there was more in store in the action-packed first-half as the Goan outfit struck back through Rollin Borjes with a 45th-minute goal.
In the second-half both teams pushed for the all-important winner. But the decisive goal eluded them till Kalu's substitution in place of Freiman Mauricio Peixoto did the trick for the Goans.
Just when it seemed the AIFF developmental side would be content with another home draw, seasoned striker Kalu scored.
The win takes Sporting Clube towards safety with 17 points from 14 matches, while the Arrows (7) are placed just above bottom-placed HAL, Bangalore.