SPORTING INCHES CLOSE TO TITLE

Sporting players training on the Don Bosco ground, Panjim ahead of their clash against GASC

Sporting will try to tighten their grip on the title as they take on Guardian Angel SC in the Goa Pro League match at Duler Stadium on Monday. The Flaming Oranje will be looking at nothing less than three points from this fixture. The league has seen some interesting twists and turns, form the initial slump in the month of August to the year ending Sporting looks to be the clear favourites with 33 points from 16 outings. The heavy weights of Goan football like Salgaocar FC and Dempo SC have already bowed out of the title race; Churchill Bros are the only other team who have the numerical chance of putting up a challenge in the closing stages of this tournament as they have collected 27 points from 15 matches, but they face some really tough fixtures towards the end in the likes of Calangute Association who themselves are on third spot with 25 points after playing 15 matches.

The Sporting Gaffer Mathew Costa said “We are looking at nothing less than 3 points, the boys are confident and the mood is good within the camp.”

However the concern for Sporting has been the defense department as the Flaming Oranje has conceded early in the previous two fixtures, when asked about the same Gaffer added “Yes it has been a serious concern for us; we have made some silly mistakes at the back which resulted in the early goals. That has disrupted our game play in the first half. We do make up for the same in the second but it’s a serious concern.” He went on, “We have carefully analyzed our mistakes and we will be more cautious to avoid such situations in the remaining matches. We have some quality players in our defense it’s just the lack of concentration which cost us, the unit is aware of what we can achieve and am confident the boys can pull it through.”

When quizzed about the opponents Mathew said “They are a good side and Football is an unpredictable game, we can’t afford to take anyone lightly. It all comes down to which of the 22 players holds their nerves for a single moment in those 90 minutes.”

However the Sporting camp will be in high spirits as some of their key players in the forward unit are available for the pick in tomorrow’smatch. Especially Ndidi Chukwuma who haunted the Guardian Angel defense with a second half hat-trick in their previous encounter has started training with the side. Also their pacy winger Marcus Mascarenhas is finally ready to take the field after missing the last 3 matches.

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