Yasir Mohammad scored for the Goans in the first half while Victorino Fernandes equalised at the start of the second session.
Sporting had a good pre-season as they had registered a 1-0 win against Panjim Footballers in their last friendly match, while FC Goa were high on confidence after defeating the India U-17 national team 1-0 in their last match.
Goan’s Coach Clifford Miranda made two changes to his side as India U-19 player Princeton Rebello made his debut for the ISL development side. Brian Faria was the other change in the squad, while they missed the services of attacking midfielder Hayden Fernandes as he was banned for a month by the Goa Football Association for playing in an unregistered tournament. On the other hand, Sporting coach Mateus Costa made four changes bringing in Marcus Mascarenhas, Joseph Pereira, Alton Vaz and Brandon Gomes in the playing XI.
It was just five minutes on the clock when Goan’s Princeton surprised the opponent keeper Ozen Silva with a powerful shot from outside the box. However, the Sporting keeper brilliantly blocked it.
Whereas Sporting took more four minutes to look at the goal when George D’Souza sent a potent free-kick on the goal but Goan’s keeper Iprotip Das came up with a dazzling block to deny the defender in the set-piece.
A few minutes later, the junior Gaur Yasir Mohammad put his side ahead when he brilliantly cut past two defenders to enter the box and calmly finished the ball into the net making it 1-0 for the Goans.
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The next few minutes witnessed an end-to-end affair. However, the Goans were the side to create more chances. In one of these, Aaren D’Silva tried to find Jason Barbosa in front of the goal with a neat lofted ball but Sporting keeper Ozen collected it on time to save his side from any further damage. While they missed another opportunity to double their lead when Franzil Negredo saw his header miss the target by a few inches, off Yasir’s perfect corner.
Sporting also had a couple of chances to equalise in the dying minutes of the first session but first, Glan Martin saw his commanding shot hit the defender Franzil and went out for a corner. Later, Marcus’ powerful shot was nicely palmed away by Goan custodian Das for a corner.
At the other end, junior Gaurs almost doubled their tally in the added time of the first half when Aaren smartly headed in, to a well-directed corner by Liston Colaco but referee Parmanand Mandrekar awarded a free-kick to Sporting for Aaren’s foul on Sporting keeper Ozen. Meanwhile, Flaming Orange’s coach Costa brought in Alesh Sawant replacing Joseph on the wing at the halftime.
Sporting came out stronger in the second session and scored the equaliser in the very first minutes when Cajetan Fernandes’ curling free-kick from distance was blocked by the Goan shot-stopper with a full-stretch effort but he could not clear the danger completely. Taking advantage of the same, Victorino Fernandes tapped in from point blank range to make it all square for his side.
However, seven minutes later, Sporting were reduced to 10 men when Glan was given his marching orders by referee Parmanand following his second booking for elbowing Princeton in the face.
Despite having the disadvantage of being a man short, Sporting showed more potent play and marched many times on the opponents but Goan’s strong defending spoiled most of their moves.
Victorino had a golden opportunity to put his side ahead in the 75th minute when he was in a one-on-one situation with the keeper Das after he was fed by Alesh with a long ball from the left flank, but the experienced striker missed a sitter as he shot over the crossbar. While the Goans failed to create any chances in the second session as the match ended all square.