Sporting Clube de Goa were held to a 1 – 1 draw by Aizawl FC at Fatorda today. It was the highlanders who took the lead in 28th minute through Alfred Jaryan while Sporting caught up in the 37th minute through their skipper Mahmoud Al Amnah.
The Flaming Oranje were the first to attack right from the kick off. Sporting’s new signing Charles Esemena had an opportunity in the opening minute when he missed the nets from a hand-shaking distance. Soon Aizawl FC started attacking on the counter; they got their first real look at goal in the 10th minute when a left footed shot from Alfred went wide of Sporting nets. In the next 10 minutes Aizawl had at least two good chances in the form of Joel Sunday and Alfred but some sensible and brave heart saves from Sporting custodian Arindam ensured that ball stayed out from the home side nets.
In the 28th minute Aizawl came back on a counter that saw Sporting’s Subhasish Bose miscalculate a tackle allowing Alfred to run past the Oranje defense to drill one in giving visitors the first goal advantage. Sporting did some catching up soon with their captain Mahmoud leading from the front. His exceptional game sense played off well when he managed to slot home a beauty in the 37th minute putting things on level terms. After this the skipper had at least another 3 shots on goal but couldn’t beat the Aizawl keeper Lalawmpuia. Mateus Costa eyeing an opportunity introduced his fire man Victorino trying to go for the kill, but couldn’t change the score line before switching over.
Second half saw Aizawl FC change tactics and go in for a defensive game trying to salvage a point. Sporting shifted gears too lining up a strong attack in the likes of Pratesh and Sumeet whom gaffer introduced as the last ditch attempt to find the winner. Though Sporting came close to scoring on a few occasions the usual problem of getting them into the nets continued. The best of it came through Victorino who made a fantastic run off Mahmoud’s pass but failed to calm his nerves down within the box and yet another opportunity went begging from Sportings hand. Closing stages saw a very compact defense from the visitors who managed to keep the Sporting threat at the bay. This draw saw Sporting catch up with Shillong at 15 points while Aizawl lifted them up from the bottom with 13.