A neat win against the Red Machines brought Flaming Orange into the title race.

Sporting Clube de Goa secured their straight third win as this time they beat Churchill Brothers Sports Club by an easy 2-0 margin in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Wednesday.

After a goalless first session, Nigerian forward Philip Odogwu gave Sporting a much-needed lead in the 70th minutes, while, the Red Machines conceded an own goal through their substitute defender Allen Fernandes in the 87th minutes to suffer the fourth defeat of the season.

It was a clash between the defending champions where Sporting who had won their last match against Youth Club of Manora had three changes to their side as their coach Francisco Savio Vaz brought in Nigerian striker Philip Odogwu, Assumption Soares and Dattaraj Gaonkar. On the other hand, Churchill gaffer Norberto Gonsalves also made the same number of changes following a defeat at the hands of their arch-rival Dempo SC as Rakesh Das, Myron Mendes and Yagya Kapoor found their names in the starting XI for the Red Machines.

It was a complete different Churchill from the last four encounters as they were seen dominant over the rivals from the start of the session. They were also the first to look at the goal in the 3rd minute as after receiving a short pass from Jouston Barbosa, Mauvin Borges dribbled past a defender and went for glory only to see miss by a whisker.

They had another opportunity in the 20th minute when Rakesh cut past two opponents at deep left flank and tried his luck from inside the box but Sporting keeper Ozen Silva nicely fisted it over the crossbar. The last few minutes of the session saw Sporting showing some urgency in taking the lead but their U20 midfielder Rohit Totad failed to convert on three occasions.

Churchill once again came close to scoring just after changing the ends as a fine cut-back from Ginminthang Hangsing found unmarked Jouston in the box but the lad saw his strike timely blocked by Sporting defender Myron Fernandes.

Sporting also had a chance to take the lead in the 65th minute when their left-back came with a long throw-in to Philip but the Nigerian forward failed to keep his strike on target from close.

However, they managed to take the lead in the 70th minute as Myron sent a perfect cross to Marcus Mascarenhas in the box who made a diving effort to head the ball home but Churchill keeper Debnath Mondal made a brilliant save. However, Churchill custodian failed to kill the attack completely as the ball spilt from his hands, taking advantage of the same, the unmarked Nigerian striker Philip slotted the ball in the net to make it 1-0 for the Flaming Orange.

Pumped-up by a goal, Sporting doubled their lead in the 87th minute when their forward snatched the ball from Churchill’s skipper Velito Cruz and strike at goal from inside the box but Churchill keeper Debnath came forward to blocked the forward in a one-on-one. However, it was unfortunate for the Red Machine as the ball hit their substitute defender Allen Fernandes and finished in the empty net making it 2-0.

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