Sporting played out a 0 – 0 draw with Aizawl FC in the Hero Fed Cup semi-finals first leg. Sporting kept their 5th straight clean sheet to contain the highlanders with a solid defensive performance. Loveday Enyinnaya and Subhasish Bose put up a formidable performance at the back restricting Joel Sunday and company from causing any damage.
The first half saw a mountain of possession with Sporting who rotated the ball well in the midfield but couldn’t get past the Aizawl FC defenders. First opportunity of the match came Sporting’s way early in the first minute when Mahmoud Al Amnah’s through ball found a charging Nicholas Fernandes who came head on with the Aizawl goal-keeper Poirei Anganba but his left footed shot went inches away from the nets. Aizawl FC got their best opportunity in the 5th minute through Joel Sunday but the shot was well judged by Arindam who let it slide by without any danger. The rest of this half was a drab, as either side played a very cautious game avoiding any risk. The score stayed 0 – 0 at the end of this half.
Crossing over Aizawl FC made their intentions clear with some quick attacks right at the start. The highlanders got their best opportunity in the 52nd minute when they won a free kick at the far corner. The Aizawl skipper David Lalrinmuana send in a dangerous ball finding Emmanuel Chigozie, the Nigerian headed the ball wide from a point blank range. In the 58th minute Passi held on to a loose ball in the mid to launch a bullet from about 30 yards off but straight into the hands of Poirei. Mateus Costa went with all he had in his arsenal with the likes of Ndidi Chukwuma & Victorino Fernandes but no one could step up to the occasion. In the final quarter Aizawal came very close to scoring when their skipper David launched a powerful shot from the 18 yard box but the heroic save by Arindam kept the ball off Sporting nets. Towards the end Victorino made a good run with the ball beating 2 defenders to come straight against Poirei but couldn’t get the ball past him, this was the best opportunity of the second half for Sporting. When the final whistle went off the scores stayed at 0 – 0 with the focus shifting towards the second leg back in Goa on 15th May.