It was a day of survival for Vasco Sports Club as well as for a spectator in the Round I Second Division I-League match at the Bangalore Football Stadium here on Thursday.
Vasco survived by the skin of their teeth with a last-gasp goal that earned the Goan side a 1-0 win over Eagles Football Club and helped them stay afloat in the competition. Meanwhile, a spectator escaped with a minor head injury after a part of the plastering on the ceiling fell on his head in the dying minutes of the match.
Babatunde John netted the winner in the 89th minute to help Vasco to reach 10 points from five matches in Group ‘C’. Mumbai Tigers and Southern Samity too have ten points but both the teams have a game in hand. With just one point from four games, Eagles are virtually out of the league.
In an evenly contested first-half, Eagles spilled couple of sitters. A cross from the right by Sinil TT was headed straight to Vasco goalkeeper Debasish Das by Umesh in the 24th and five minutes later, the striker deflected wide a neat pass from Rajesh PR on the left.
Soon, to add more sting to Vasco forays, coach Subrata Bhattacharya replaced defender Kamardeep Singh with midfielder Agnelo Colaco. The move almost paid dividends with Agnelo sending Babatunde through with a defence-splitting pass but an alert Eagles custodian Shabeer P M tipped over the Nigerian’s powerful right-footer.
Shabeer kept Eagles in the hunt in the second half with a diving save to his right off a close range header from Babatunde before the Kerala ’keeper managed to deflect with his legs an Emmanuel Chinedu right-footer.
Even as the commotion in the stands, caused by the injury to the fan, began to settle down, Babatunde slotted home a pass from J Murali to seal the issue for Vasco.
Earlier, riding on a hat-trick from Iyikwobe Chizoba Christopher, Kalighat Milan Sangha trounced Luangmual FC 8-0 to be on nine points from five matches. With three points from five matches, Luangmual are out of the reckoning for the next phase.
Chizoba found the target in the 56th, 60th and 73rd minutes while James Gbilee (9th, 22nd), Michael Segun Tayo (13th), Tanmoy Kundu (30th) Krishanu Das (58th) completed the goal glut.
At Singrauli, KGF Sports Academy went down 1-3 to Rangdajied United FC in their Group ‘A’ encounter. The Bangalore side are on nine points from seven matches in the nine-team group.
DH News Service
Friday’s matches: Mumbai Tigers vs South United (1.30 pm); Hindustan FC vs Southern Samity (4.00 pm).