Sporting snatched a late equalizer as Salgaocar FC dropped points for the first time this season. Aslon Oliveira (48’) gave the Vasco side an early lead while Marcus Mascarenhas headed in a injury time equalizer for the Flaming Oranje to make it all square at Duler Football Stadium on a rainy Friday evening.
Sporting Gaffer Mateus Costa handed starts to 5 new faces from the side that beat Churchill Bros in the first round. Alber Gonsalves, Harpreet Singh, Ganesh Thakur, Brandon Gomes & Akeraj Martins made it to the cut. Sporting adopted a familiar 4 – 2 – 3 – 1 formation with Victorino at the front.
The first half was played in heavy rains which witnessed some rough patch with sliding tackles and miss passes from either side. It took a good 25 minutes for the fans to get a goal mouth action when Mackroy Peixote of Salgaocar took a promising shot from 35 yards away and caught Ravi Kumar off guard but missed the goal by inches. In less than 2 minutes Sporting responded well when Ganesh Thakur made a good run on the right to set up Victorino Fernandes with a beautiful cross but the latter send it into the skies. With very less action for the remainder it stayed goalless at the half time.
Crossing over Salgaocar made a decisive substitution in the form of Alson Oliveira who’s first touch of the match resulted in the goal. It was Brian Mascarenhas who’s brilliant through ball found a charging Alson in the box to placed it well past Ravi putting the Greens ahead.
After conceding Sporting Gaffer Mateus Costa responded quickly as he brought in his hit man Marcus Mascarenhas in place of Akeraj Martins. The Flaming Oranje stepped up the gas as Victorino, Marcus, & Ganesh combined well in the front creating numerous chances. One of the best came in the 64th minute when Victorino made a dazzling run on the right to set up Alber with a long cross but the latter shot it inches past the nets.
Victorino was once again in the thick of the action when he latched on to a well directed cross from Glan Martins to strike it clean but couldn’t beat a alert Bruno. The equalizer finally came in the added time when Ganesh created a good move on the right to find Victorino who send in a perfect cross for Marcus to head it past the keeper making it 1 – 1 just before the final whistle.
With this win Sporting have climbed up to the 3rd position with 4 points and a better goal difference from 2 matches while Salgaocar stay put on top with 10 from 4 outings.