A solo goal from Sporting’s star striker Odafa Okolie early in the second half was enough to see off Salgaocar FC 1 – 0 at Duler Stadium, Mapusa on Saturday. With this win Sporting regains the pole position as they now have pocketed 29 points.
Most of the first half saw some electrifying mood as either side played an attacking brand of football with as many as three good chances on both ends. The first chance came Salgaocar’s way when Myron Borges managed to get a good low shot off from a distance testing Kamaljit Singh’s diving skills. Post this it was Sporting’s turn to make an impact as Odafa Okolie and Ganesh Thakur combined well to create trouble for the Salgaocar defense. The first half ended in a stalemate as both teams failed to convert the numerous opportunities created.
The second half completely belonged to Sporting. The Oranje unit who got the ball rolling took less than a minute to get ahead as their talisman striker Odafa Okolie was at the end of a well created move in the mid to fire a shot off from about 20 yards away. Odafa managed to place the ball with perfection as Bruno Colaco of Salgaocar made a lengthy dive but failed to save the day for Salgaocar FC.
Once Sporting took the lead they completely controlled the match and kept possession to themselves. Towards the last quarter Salgaocar FC saw them running out of steam as they barely managed to break down the Sporting defense. Sporting’s Ganesh Thakur, Mauvin Borges and Odafa Okolie saw at least 4 golden opportunities go past them in the second half. The only convincing chance Salgaocar created in the second half came towards the closing stages as Clavin Mbarga missed an open header from a close range.
Sporting Coach Mathew Costa “We are really happy, this is an important result for us. The previous result was disturbing for our momentum. This result should put things back on track.” He also added “We are happier to see our training tactics working out. Todays goal is one such example, we have tried this time and again it worked today.”