Marcus Mascarenhas scored a brace in the Flaming Orange’s victory.
It was the clash between two Panjim Sides, one who has dominated in GPL for many years, whereas the other one was newly entrant, who got promotion from GFA First Division League.
After drawing against FC Goa in the opening match, Sporting defeated Salgaocar 3-2 in the entertaining match, whereas Panjim were looking to continue their form as they had defeated Santa Cruz Club of Cavelossim in the last match.
Sporting coach Mateus Costa made three changes to his side as keeper Ozen Silva was back in the lineup, while he also gave first start to Quan Gomes and Nigerian striker Abiola Afuwape. Clifton Fernandes and Chandan Gaws were back in the Panjim side replacing Ruflon Fernandes and Harshad Naik in the starting XI.
Though it was one-way traffic for the first few minutes from Sporting, it was Panjim side who came up with the first shot of the match when Prisco Moura tried his luck from just outside the box but his low shot was nicely pushed away for a corner by Sporting keeper Ozen. However, this was the only potent attempt from the Panjim side in the entire session as next all session belonged to Sporting as they were the dominant side for next 40 minutes.
The Flaming Orange’s skipper Victorino Fernandes had a great chance in the 24th minutes when he made swift shot run before unleashing a powerful shot from inside the box but the striker was denied by the woodwork.
However, three minutes later, the Sporting Skipper made no mistake to put his side ahead as he smartly placed the ball in the back of the net after receiving a header pass from his teammate Marcus Mascarenhas in the box, making it 1-0 for the Flaming Orange.
It was just five minutes after the first goal when their Nigerian striker Abiola doubled the lead as he brilliantly beat the offside trap to receive Quan’s ball at the halfway line, covered some ground and blasted from the close to make it 2-0 for Sporting.
Whereas, Marcus made it 3-0 for Sporting in the added time when his potent shot beat the Panjim Custodian Gurpreet Singh before entering the goal as the Flaming Orange went into the breather with a commanding three goals lead on their side.
Sporting came out stronger in the second half made numerous attacks on the opponents and finally, in the 70th minutes, Marcus scored team’s fourth and his second goal when his neat shot entered in the top corner from inside the box, off Abiola’s short pass in the box.
Panjim tried hard to get back into the match but their most of the moves ended before entering the opponent’s half, while some of their moves failed to poor performance in the final third. In one of these, Substitute striker Ruflon Fernandes had the best chance to reduce their margin in the dying minutes of the match but the latter shot on opponent defenders instead of directing it in the goal from 6-yards.
However, he made up for his poor finishing in the previous attempt as the striker scored from the 25-yard free-kick in the added time making it 4-1 for his side.