Dominant Ozone FC prevail

Dominant Ozone FC prevail

Football I-League II division: Anto nets a brace in 3-0 win over Pride Sports

Dominant Ozone FC prevail

After a stuttering start to the season, Ozone FC Bengaluru turned up the heat with a 3-0 win over Pride Sports in the I-League Second Division at the Bangalore Football Stadium here on Friday.

Midfielder Anto Xavier struck two goals within a space of two minutes before a powerful strike from midfielder Vignesh Gunashekhar dented Pride further.

The hosts, with three points from two matches, are third in Group C above Pride Sports, who are yet to open their account. Fateh Hyderabad AFC, are on top with four points, placed above Kenkre FC on goal difference.

Ozone, who lost to Kenkre last week after squandering several chances, began on an attacking mode, with midfielder Pradeep Mohanraj coming close on a couple of occasions early in the game.

Their efforts soon paid dividends. In the 30th minute, forward Sabeeth Sathyan’s pass found Gunashekhar on the left flank. Gunashekhar beat his marker and placed a superb pass for Anto to score past Pride Sports goalkeeper Rohan Sudhir Fasge.

A minute later, Mohanraj’s header found Sabeeth lurking at the far post. Sabeeth’s attempt was blocked by Fasge. An alert Sabeeth then collected the ball and passed it to Anto, unmarked inside the box, for a simple tap-in into the unguarded net.

Ozone went three-up in the 37th minute when Mohanraj sent an aerial through pass to Sabeeth, whose shot was blocked by Fasge but the onrushing Gunashekhar slammed home the rebound from inside the box. Pride Sports showed a bit more intent in the second period but struggled to break through the resilient Ozone defence.

The visitors came close to scoring in the 87th minute when foward Robin Chettri dribbled past the Ozone defenders and struck a good shot but it bounced off the bar.

Ozone will next take on Fateh Hyderabad on Feb 5 in an away match.