MARGAO: Sporting Clube de Goa huffed and puffed to register a solitary goal victory against a spirited Margao SC in the Kingfisher Professional League football match played at Raia panchayat grounds, Raia on Thursday.
The all-important goal was scored by their mercurial striker Victorino Fernandes in the 59th minute of play with the first half remaining barren.
No sooner did Victorino Fernandes enter the field of play as a substitute in place of Japanese striker Seiya Sugishita, the nippy forward scored.
Latching on to a pass from medio Obioka Anouke from the right Victorino controlled the ball and drew out the Margao SC goalkeeper Bruno Colaco from his position and then coolly slammed the ball into the empty nets.
Both the teams played to a plan and were evenly balanced in their movements with Sporting Clube having a slight edge as far as the ball possession was concerned.
Sporting Clube played with as many as eight I-League players which included Mathew Gonsalves, Joyner Lourecne and Jovel Martins in the defence, while the midfield was made up by Pratesh Shirodkar and Joseph Pereira .In the strike force, Sporting had their usual pair comprising Obioka Anouke and Seiya Sugishita. Later Victorino Fernandes entered the field of play in place of Seiya and scored.
Under such a strong team, one must surely pat Margao players who rubbed shoulders with such a strong team, matching them move by move in every department of the game.
The first half saw no dangerous moves at all, except for the fact that once Joseph Pereira made a dash for the ball and on reaching the box, switched it to better placed Veito Cruz who failed to deliver the goods from close distance.
Similarly, Margao too created a sort of a flutter when Gammy Costa just missed the mark from a shot that he unleashed from outside the box.
Margao defence did a fairly good job throughout the proceedings manned by Francisco Calado, Leny L Pereira, Benzy Clerencio and Vijay Rego who kept the Sporting Clube forwards at bay with first time clearances.
Their midfield too consisting of Ashly Arajo, Sunford Cardozo, Mavesh Oliveira and Mario Fernandes functioned well while the forwards - Gamy Costa and Joel Camera tried their level best to get past the strong defence of the opponents. Later, Sheton Dias arrived in the second session in the forward line, replacing Joel Camera but he too was unable to create any danger to the rival goal.
While the first session saw some stray chances for both the teams even as Sporting Clube began to have the upper hand in the proceedings, Sporting Clube came hard at their rivals in the second session and created some dangerous openings on the flanks.
But the Margao defence somehow managed to thwart the moves quite efficiently. And the only time Margao faltered was when Victorino scored.
In the dying minutes, both the teams were seen attempting some shots but the goalkeepers of both the teams stood their ground well. Once in the last stages, Margao almost restored parity but Sporting goalkeeper brought off a good save from Sunford Cardozo.