Cudjoe turns saviour for ONGC



Ghanian striker Enock Cudjoe scored a goal in extra time as ONGC defeated Sporting Clube de Goa 2-1 in the AWES Cup, organised by the Association for the Wellbeing of Elder Sportspersons (AWES) in collaboration with the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) at Tilak Maidan, Vasco, on Saturday.

Jagdeep Singh gave ONGC the lead in the first session but Sporting Clube did well to level scores in the 72nd minute through captain Victorino Fernandes.

ONGC were playing with 10 men when Prathamesh Kasare was sent off in the 82nd minute. But despite the handicap, ONGC pulled off the winner in the third minute of extra time.

The win helped ONGC continue with their winning streak in the tournament and they topped group B with nine points from three matches. Sporting Clube were left with four points, the same as Gokulam Kerala FC, but have qualified for the semi-finals with a better goal average. Sporting will play their first semi-final against group A toppers on Tuesday.

ONGC were the better side at the start of the contest and could have surged ahead early if not for alert Sporting goalkeeper Melroy Fernandes. After much probing, ONGC finally took the lead through Jagdeep Singh who connected superbly after Sunil Lohar and Cudjoe had done the spadework.

It was Sporting who looked better in the second session and pressed hard for the equaliser but it was not until the 72nd minute when they found a breakthrough. It was a nice through ball from Quan Gomes that started it all and Victorino did well to slide the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.

The match seemed to be headed for a draw when ONGC defender Prathamesh Kasare was shown the red card by the referee for a foul on Glan Martins. The numerical disadvantage pegged ONGC back but the Mumbai champions did manage to get the winner when Cudjoe rose high to meet a corner kick.

Categories: Sports
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