Aaren D’Silva scored a consolation goal for the Junior Gaurs.

Sporting Clube de Goa extended their lead at the top of the table as they eased past FC Goa by a 3-1 margin in the Goa Professional League match, played at Duler Stadium on Sunday.

Akeraj Martin scored a brace, while George D’Souza scored the other goal for the Flaming Orange. Meanwhile, Aaren D’Silva scored a consolation goal for the Junior Gaurs.

Sporting coach Savio Vaz made numerous changes to his side following their defeat against Salgaocar FC in the last match as U-20 keeper Akshat Hadkonkar, Dattaraj Gaonkar, Girish Naik, Brendon Gomes, Assumption Soares and Akeraj Martins found their names in the starting XI. On the other hand, forward Lalnuntluanga Bawitlung was the only change in the FC Goa side which earned full points with an easy 3-1 win over Corps of Signals in the last match.

Though both the sides had started with attacking play, it was Sporting Goa who succeeded to find the net. The Flaming Orange were awarded a free-kick at the 35-yards where set-piece specialist George D’Souza directly sent the ball into the net from the distance to put his side into the lead.

The Flaming Orange had a great opportunity to extend their lead at the half-hour mark when midfielder Gautam Dias played a beautiful through pass to Marcus Mascarenhas. But FC Goa left-back Serineo Fernandes brought him down at the edge of the box to give away a free-kick in the danger area. However, George, who was on target from the last attempt, shot the ball wide this time.

Sporting Goa managed to double their lead within nine minutes as Marcus snatched the ball from FC Goa defender and passed it to Akeraj who quickly blasted from just inside the box. The ball brushed keeper Dylan Da Silva’s gloves before finishing in the back of the net.

Down by two goals, FC Goa coach Derick Pereira brought in another pacey forward Lalawmpuia replacing midfielder Sezwin Fernandes in the early second half and the eagerness to come back in the game was quickly reflected. The forward set up Serineo on the deep left flank where the left-back nicely curled the ball to Aaren D’Silva in the box. The FC Goa lad in turn flung high to head the ball home from close to make it 2-1 for his side against Sporting Goa.

When it was looking like the FC Goa developmental side will come back in the match, their forward Lalnuntluanga was sent off in the 64th minute receiving a second yellow card for pulling Akeraj Martins.  The forward showed dissent and clapped on referee Prasad Surlakar’s decision. As a result, the referee quickly reacted and showed him the second yellow card followed by the red card.

A few minutes later, the match was more fired-up as FC Goa defender recklessly tackled George at the halfway line where the defender was booked, while coach Derrick left his position to defend his player in the opponents’ territory. In the process, both the coaches exchanged few words towards each other and referee Prasad cautioned both the gaffers.

Taking advantage of the reduced FC Goa side, Sporting Goa quickly restored their two-goal lead as a fine cross by substitute Stendly Fernandes was brilliantly chested in the goal by Akeraj to make it 3-1.

They had another opportunity to increase their lead when Marcus cut past a defender at the edge of the box and went for the glory but FC Goa custodian Dylan stretched to his limit to push the ball for a corner. A few minutes later, Sporting keeper Akshat was also seen in the action as he brilliantly parried Serineo’s goalbound attempt for a corner.

Coach Derrick used his another substitute bringing in Gatson D’Silva but it could not help his side from sinking against table-topper Sporting.

Click here for the Goa Pro League 2019-20 points table after this match.