Victorino Fernandes and Abiola Afuwape scored for the Flaming Orange.

Sporting Clube de Goa secured a hard-fought 2-0 win over Vasco Sports Club in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Thursday.

With this win, Sporting reclaim the top spot with 21 points from nine matches, while the Port Towners are struggling at the bottom half of the league table with just eight points from the same number of matches.

Sporting had won their last match against Santa Cruz Club of Cavelossim, whereas Vasco had shared the spoils with Corps of Signals in the previous round match.

Vasco started without their Nigerian striker John Nnanna, whereas wingers Clive Coelho and Anil Gaoncar along with defender Godfrey Mascarenhas made the start for the Port Towners. For Sporting, Glan Martins and foreign defender Sodiq Ibrahim made the comeback, while Mauvin Borges was the other change in the Flaming Orange lineup. 

It was just not even a minute crossed in the match when Sporting’s Sodiq went for the glory from the distance but his strike just missed the target. A few minutes later, Sporting once again came close to scoring when their winger Brandon Gomes curled the ball to Victorino Fernandes in the box but Vasco keeper Amit Biswas cleared the danger before the striker could do any damage.

Another chance came into Sporting’s way in the 10th minutes when Vasco defender Treyson D’Costa brought down rival player at the edge of the box, giving away a free-kick in the dangerous area and skipper Victorino made no mistake from it to curl the ball home to take his side into the 1-0 lead. 

At the other end, Vasco should have levelled the term in the 16th minutes when their striker Franky Oliveiro was left with just keeper to beat but Sporting custodian brilliantly blocked his shot to keep his side safe.

Energized by the attack, the Port Towners came with few more attacks on the rivals but none of their moves found the net as Sporting keeper was at the best with some brilliant guarding of the goal.

On crossing over, Vasco Mesquita left frustrated as his player was booked by referee Savio Fernandes for minor foul, whereas he overlooked Sporting’s player who committed dangerous tackle on Vasco player.

Vasco continued their attacking mentality in the second session as Anil tried to find Clive in the box with a fine cross but keeper Ozen came off his line to keep his side safe.

Sporting doubled their lead in the 62nd minutes when just-in striker Abiola Afuwape headed in off Daryl’s cross to make it 2-0 for the Panjim based club.

Down by two goals, Vasco coach Mesquita brought in the most experienced player Micky Fernandes replacing Leny Fernandes, to rescue his side. On the other hand, Sporting gaffer Mateus brought in Marcus Mascarenhas and Cajetan Fernandes to replace exhausted Victorino and Joseph Clemente.

Vasco had one last and the best chance in the added time when Micky initiated the move with a perfect through to Franky who released it to substitute Beneston Barretto. The striker once again set up Franky with just keeper but custodian Ozen once again came with a fine save to collect all three points for his side.