Sporting Clube de Goa were stopped in their tracks by a determined Pailan Arrows as the two teams were locked goalless in a 5th Round clash of the I-League at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Wednesday.
Sporting Clube were on a two-match winning streak and were expected to complete a hat-trick of wins, but the hosts lacked the necessary sharpness upfront.
Without influential striker James Moga, Sporting Clube de Goa found it difficult to penetrate the rival defence. And when there were a couple of opportunities, the strikers fell woefully short. Pritam Singh stepped into the boots of Moga at the start of the match but could not make much headway. His replacement, Macroy Peixoto, also failed to create any impact.
Sporting Clube, though, had their fair share of chances in the first session. All of the chances were created by by Anthony D’Souza on the right of midfield but a lacklustre Victorino Fernandes could not finish off the chances that came his way, once from handshaking distance.
Anthony also went close for Sporting Clube when his snap shot hit the side post and sailed out of play.
Pailan Arrows played an ultra defensive game and their two best chances came early in the game when CS Sabeeth and Ajay Singh tried to rattle Sporting goalkeeper Gerrard D’Mello with long rangers. Both were wide of the target.
Pailan Arrows started the second session confidently with Sabeeth, captain Milan Singh and Ajay Singh all eager to open the account but the last confident touch was missing.
The best chance came towards the fag end of the match when a long ball from the centre saw Sabeeth running towards the goal. But an alert Sporting defender Keita Boubacar managed to avert the danger just before Sabeeth could take a shot on goal.
(AIFF Press Release)