OGNC hold Sporting; Bagan struggle

ONGC capitalised on the advantage of Sporting Clube de Goa being reduced to a 10-member side as they came from behind to hold the hosts to a 1-1 draw and split points in the 22nd round of the I-League at Duler Stadium here on Thursday.  

The hosts took the lead in the 20th minute through Dawson Fernandes but ONGC’s Hassan Odeola scored the valuable equaliser in the 77th minute.

Sporting Clube de Goa now has 30 points from 22 matches and remain at the sixth spot, while ONGC took their tally to 29 points from 22 games.

Sporting, who came into the match with impressive record of remaining unbeaten in their last five matches after their new Spanish coach Bruzon took over, made their intention clear from the very beginning. 

They made early inroads into the rival half and took the lead in the 20th minute with Fernandes striking the goal off a cross from Juanfri from the left.

ONGC restored parity in the 77th minute when defender Pawinder Singh, who took the corner, floated the ball into the goal mouth for Hassan Odeola, who shot home from close.

Lajong shine

In Kalyani, Mohun Bagan were denied victory after leading twice in the match as a determined Shillong Lajong FC forced a 2-2 result at the Kalyani Stadium.

Following a barren first half, Mohun Bagan took the lead through their Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey in the 52nd minute before Lajong FC found the equaliser within a minute thanks to Boithang Haokip. 

Mohun Bagan regained the lead at the hour-mark owing to substitute Manish Maithani. But their lead was neutralised once again as Lajong FC substitute PC Lahimthara nodded home the equaliser.

After the draw, Mohun Bagan are still bottom of the standings with 10 points from 17 matches while Lajong FC are tenth with 21 from 22 matches.

At the Balewadi Sports Complex, hosts Pune FC, riding on a brace from Sukhwinder Singh (30th, 44th), scored a 2-0 win over Dempo.

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