I-League: United SC shock Churchill Brothers
Ranty Martins struck twice as United SC came back from behind to stun defending champions Churchill Brothers 3-2 in an eighth round I-League clash in Kalyani, West Bengal on Saturday.
Balwant Singh struck a double (25th and 47th minutes) to give Churchill a 2-0 lead but eight minutes later C K Vineeth pulled one back, while Martins came back to form after a prolonged lean patch by scoring back to back goals (78th and 88th) to seal a thrilling win.
Yet to win a match in this season's I-League, Churchill had more setback in store when Denzil Franco was sent off in the 89th minute after stamping Vineeth.
With four wins from nine matches, United SC now have 15 points, while Churchill (three points) remained one notch above bottom-ranked Rangdajied United from eight outings.
Image: Ranti Martins (centre) celebrates with team-mates
Photographs: AIFF Media
Mumbai FC hold Bengaluru FC
Climax Lawrence scored right at the death following a melee in front of the post to snatch two points from Bengaluru FC as the match ended in a 2-2 draw at the Balewadi Sports Complex stadium in Pune.
Bengaluru FC had the entire wherewithal what with man-of-the-match John Menyongar executing the perfect role of a playmaker, but after the skipper Sunil Chhetri scored off a spot kick in the 58th minute, the visitors wasted enough chances to improve on the wafer-thin lead.
Mumbai FC, who lost three matches on the trot at home, redeemed their pride to some extent as they consistently probed Bengaluru’s defence before finally Lawrence came up with his 94th minute tap that landed into the goal much to the delight of their supporters and coach Khalid Jamil.
Bengaluru stayed on No 2 position after taking one point from this match with a total of 14 points from 7 matches, while Mumbai moved up to No 9 position.
Photographs: AIFF Media
Shillong Lajong tackle past Mohammedan Sporting
Shillong Lajong FC earned their first home victory of the season by beating a determined Mohammedan Sporting 2-1 at the JN Stadium under cold, overcast and foggy conditions.
The visitors from Kolkata took some time to find their feet, but almost bagged the lead in the third minute after confusion between Lajong’s Jibon Singh and goalkeeper Vinay Singh resulted in Josimar getting a hold of the ball, although the Brazilian’s aim was slightly wide of the post.
The first 20 minutes belonged to the home team, who were missing the services of the injured Cornell Glen and Taisuke Matsugae.
On six minutes a cross from the left flank saw Subash Singh in front of the goal with just a defender and the opposition goalkeeper L Ashok Singh between him and taking the lead. The fiery SLFC striker took a couple of seconds too long before taking his shot, which enabled the keeper to collect easily.
Lajong finally broke the deadlock in the 31st minute when Subash blasted the ball in the box at a Mohammedan player, who was guilty of a handball. Uilliams Souza Silva stepped up and converted the spot kick, aiming to the left of the diving keeper.
Just when it looked like Lajong would dominate to the end of the half, a careless error on the part of their defenders gifted the ball straight to Tolgay Ozbey, who quickly passed to the open Josimar and the striker eased the ball into the corner of the net to make it 1-1.
The second session started with both teams on an equal footing.
The mood in the stadium received a shot in the arm after Uilliams pulled off a stunner of a goal in the 75th minute. On the right flank, he went deep into the opposition half. Pressured by defenders and from an impossible angle, the Brazilian curled the ball in and it entered the far corner of the net.
Photographs: Courtesy: Shillong Lajong FC
Sporting Clube de Goa beat Pune FC
Pune FC's unbeaten run came to an end as they lost 0-2 to Sporting Clube de Goa at Duler Stadium, Mapusa.
After the barren first half, Clube, who dominated the game throughout, scored through Victorino Fernandes in the 50th and Pratemesh Shirodkar in the stoppage time.
The win takes Clube's tally to 13 points from seven matches. Pune FC, who suffered their first defeat, have 13 points from six matches.
Sporting Clube de Goa, eager to put themselves on the right track after losing to Mohammedan Sporting in the previous match, kept attacking the rival goal mostly from the right where Vitorino Fernandes looked dangerous and came close to finding the net twice in the first half.
Photographs: Courtesy: Pune FC