East Bengal defeated Sporting Club de Goa 3 – 1 in the I League game held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda today. Sporting took the lead in the 29th minute of the game through Odofa Okolie before the Red & Gold brigade caused a turnaround in the second half of the game led by a brace from Ranti Martins (67th and 81st minutes) and Bikash Jairu (78th minute).
In a match that started positively with both teams going offensive, it was the hosts that opened the scoring in the 29th minute of the game through Odofa Okolie. The 30 year old Nigerian striker latched on to a pass from the deep by Pratesh Shirodkar and wrestled past the East Bengal defence to slot the ball calmly in to the back of the net beyond the East Bengal custodian T P Rehenesh. Although the hosts pressed more for doubling their lead, the half chances that came across could not be converted by the Goan side.
With the score remaining 1 – 0 against them at the end of the first half, it required some exceptional performance from East Bengal for a turnaround. They had to wait until the 67th minute of the game when Ranti Martins leapt above the Sporting defenders to a corner from the former South Korea under-20 player Do Dong-hyun to place his header past Arindam Bhattacharya from the front post to make it 1-1.
East Bengal made it 2 – 1 in the 79th minute of the game when their winger Bikash Jairu latched on to a weak clearance by the Sporting defence and passed the ball to Ranti Martins who passed it back to Jairu and the 25 year old winger fired the ball past Arindam Bhattacharya.
East Bengal sealed the game in the 87th minute of the game when Ranti Martins was through on goal from a pass by Do Dong-hyun and the Nigerian striker placed the ball in to the far corner to make it 3 – 1 for the visitors.
Sporting Clube de Goa (starting XI): Cajetan, Clemente, Mathew, Odafa (c), Mahmoud, Mauvin, Arindam (gk), Ravanan, Loveday, Nicholas, Pratesh
East Bengal (starting XI): Arnab, Rasaq, Robert (c), Malik, Ranti, Khabra, Donghyun, Jairu, Shylo, Rehenesh (gk), Sehnaj
Image Courtesy: http://i-league.org/