Sporting were bowed out from the Fed Cup after playing out a 2 – 2 draw against Aizawl FC at Fatorda on Sunday. Joel Sunday (37’) and Lalchhawnkima (60’) got on the score sheet for the highlanders while Sporting drew back on Sumeet Passi (45+) and Glan Martins (80’). Aizawl FC will now meet Mohun Bagan at Gauhati on 21st May 2016.
The game began with an intensity that one can come to expect from a Federation Cup Semi-Final. Both the sides looked calm & poised as the referee blew the whistle to kick things off. The travelling side had a go on goal in the very 2nd minute of play as Albert who flew down the left & crossed in search of Sunday whose shot was deflected for a corner. The Oranje were quick to respond with a counter after the corner as the crowd got a rush from Victorino’s dash with the ball but he was only able to send it right across the face of goal to find no Sporting player to take an advantage of the same. In the 6th minute Passi took advantage after custodian Poirei was unable to latch onto the ball, however the former’s attempt was cleared by Lalramchullova. The game went on from end-to-end until Nico Fernandes almost headed a corner in but the Aizawl keeper Poirei did well to deny the Goan. The Highlanders were on the attack going forward & got the game’s first goal via their star striker. Sunday was fed a wonderful through ball from the midfield in the 37th minute for the Nigerian striker to send smashing into the back of the net. The Oranje were jolted into action after this shock & picked up the pace as they increased their number of attacks. The equaliser came in the added time of the 1st half. Sumeet Passi was able to convert Pratesh Shirdkar’s corner after the midfielder sent in a beautiful ball into the heart of Aizawl’s box as the former took advantage owing to height to restore parity before half-time.
Crossing over Sporting came with all they had in the second half. In the 52 minute Joseph Clemente’s cross went screaming past the nets failing to find any Orange shirts. In the next minute Passi won a header but lacked the pace needed to beat the Aizawl keeper. In the 58th minute Pratesh brought down David inside the box conceding a soft penalty. Kimkima stepped up took the responsibility and put Aizawl ahead for the second time in the match. After the second goal Sporting went all guns blazing at Aizawl and managed to break their defense in the 80th minute through Glan Martins. The final 10 minutes saw Sporting try their best to snatch the winner, but a determined Aizawl did everything possible on the pitch to run down the clock smartly to progress into the finals.