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Sporting Clube beats Air India 2-1

November 23, 2008 19:38 IST

Sporting Clube De Goa rallied from a goal down to quell a spirited challenge from Air India and register a 2-1 victory to maintain the top spot in the ONGC I-League at Nehru stadium in Margao on Sunday.

Subhas Singh gave Air India an early lead in the second minute which was cancelled by Joseph Pereira in the 21st minute.

Nathaniel Amos then scored the winner in the 41st minute to help Sporting Cube De Goa remain at the top of the table with 22 points from 10 matches, and extend their lead over Air India by six points who remained second with 16 points from as many matches.

Hardly had the team settled down, Air India took an early lead when Michael Tayo beat an off side trap following a cross from the right by Soccor Velho and took a crack at the goal which keeper Gerard Dmello managed to block but the deflection went to Subhas, who made no mistake in tapping the ball into the net.

Unperturbed by the early goal, Sporting launched a series of raids into the rival goal and after coming close to scoring twice found the equaliser in the 21st minute.

Amos who combined well with junior upfront and initiated the move as he set up Joseph Pereira on the top of the box who controlled the ball and essayed a left footer that found the far post.

Sporting held more of the exchanges with their midfield and linked well as they probed into the rival half more often. 

Man of the match, Bibiano Fernandes, who controlled the midfield kept his strikers busy as he sprayed passes to keep the rival defense on tight lease.

Air India looked dangerous in their counter attack and had a good chance to take lead again but emmanuel ovieghara shot over from close range off a cross from Nepoleon Singh in the 38th minute.

After this close shave Sporting counter attacked and went ahead in the 41st minute.

Sporting could have increased the tally soon after the change of ends when a set piece move between Bibiano Fernandes and Amos, the last name relayed the ball to Junior whose shot was put out by rival keeper Arup Debnath.

Sporting gruadually showed sign of fatigue in the closing stage of the match and Air India came back strongly to find the equalsier but Chukwuma Udofia first failed to direct his header on target and later in the stoppage time Michael Tayo missed an open chance infront of the goal but drove ball over the bar.

Referee Pratap Singh showed yellow card to Air India's Ravinder Singh, Uttam Singh, Soccor Velho, Subhas Singh, Michael Tayo and Sportings Luciano Sobrosa.

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