Babatunde John Oladeef scored a fine brace as Vasco Sports Club coasted to a 2-0 victory over Hindustan Football Club in their I-League Second Division tie at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Sunday.
The Goans thus kept their hopes of making the cut to the next phase with their second win powering them to the top spot -- seven points from three matches -- along with Mumbai Tigers and Southern Samity.
The Tigers, fancied to advance from this group, trounced Luangmual Football Club 4-2 in the day’s earlier match.
Mohammed Rafi M, NP Pradeep, Demba Dikhate and Biaksh Jairu were on target for the Tigers while Suresh Singh and C Lalrosanga reduced the margin for the Mizoram team who have three points from three games.
The Vasco-Hindustan contest started on a bright note with the teams creating a handful of chances.
However as the match wore on, it was Vasco who began to call the shots, putting the Hindustan defence under pressure. And the efforts paid off in the 17th minute, thanks to the combination of Angelo Colaco and Babatunde.
Medio Colaco dribbled down the left and relayed a sharp low cross into the box. A charging Babatunde toe-poked the ball past Hindustan custodian Vikrant Sharma.
Babatunde nearly notched up his brace in the 37th minute when fellow Nigerian Emmanuel Chinfdeu’s miscued header fell straight at him but he sent it wide.
The hot weather seemed to take a toll on the players in the second half as the game lost the intensity and rhythm of the opening half. Both the teams began to litter the field with loose passes and with the players often feigning injuries, the game just drifted along. Vasco, however, capped their day on a happy note when Babatunde neatly headed home Chinfdeu’s cross in the 80th minute.
In the Group A clash at Singrauli, KGF Academy suffered a crushing 0-4 loss to Langsning FC. KGF are now on eight points from four matches after their first loss.
DH News Service
Monday’s match: Southern Samity vs Kalighat Milan Sangha (4.00 pm).