Sporting Clube de Goa scored a solitary goal win over Dempo Sports Club to bring an end to their winning streak in the Goa Pro League match played at Duler Stadium, Mapusa, on Thursday evening.
Nigerian forward Abiola scored the winner in the 63rd minute in the neck-to-neck battle.
With this win, Sporting go on the top with 10 points from four matches, whereas Dempo drop down to second with nine points from the same number of matches.
Sporting tried to surge ahead right from the start and missed chances through Marus Mascarenhas, Vitorino Fernandes and their Nigerian striker Abiola Afuwape as Dempo keeper Agnelo Gomes made brilliant saves under the bar to keep the rivals at bay.
At the other end, The Golden Eagles made attempts through striker Beevan D’Mello who received a well-measured cross from Mario Mascarenhas, however, his header missed the target inches.
Three minutes later, Victorino made a dangerous run taking opponent defender Mathew Gonsalves but failed to put power in his shot from the edge of the box as Dempo keeper Agnelo collected it comfortably.
Unlike in the first half, Dempo were the first to create a chance in the second session as Kapil Hoble sent a smart cross in the box but Beevan failed to reach it. A few minutes later, Victorino had the best chance to take his side on a lead when he was in the commanding position but shot wide from the top of the box.
At the hour mark, Sporting wasted two more opportunities to take the lead as first, Quan Gomes shot wide from inside the box after receiving a ball from George D’Souza, while a minute later Marcus saw his powerful shot brilliantly blocked by Dempo defender Shallum Pires. The ball later rolled to Quan whose shot hit another Dempo defender Mario and went out for a corner.
Flaming Orange finally managed to score in the 63rd minute through Nigerian forward Abiola as the striker made an easy tap to Victorino’s pass making it 1-0 for Sporting.
Dempo SC tried hard to find the equalizer but Sporting Clube’s keeper and the defenders, defended resolutely to end The Golden Eagle’s unbeaten run.
(Goa Football Association)