Babatunde surprise for Vasco

ONGC score 1-0 victoryover rusty Goan outfit

Babatunde surprise for Vasco

In a match that saw both the teams battle for the ball like amateurs resulting in silly tackles and umpteen stoppages, ONGC scampered home in what actually should have been an easy victory at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

Last year’s I-League drop-outs Vasco, who had to dig deep in pulling off a 2-1 win over fellow Goan club SESA Football in the opening round, appeared unprepared to the pace and passing of ONGC. The Mumbai side, despite breaking free on various occasions, failed to complete the job due to poor finishing.

While the game began at a wonderful tempo, the fiesty challenges that followed disrupted its flow.

If Vasco kept feigning injuries in the opening half to slow ONGC then it was the Mumbai side’s turn to repay it with interest towards the closing stages that saw six minutes of time being added.

ONGC took the lead two minutes after resumption when Tarif Ahmed slipped a wonderful ball to Babatunde, who barged into the box from the right and blasted it past Vasco custodian Siddhesh Morje.

Coached by former India stopper-back Subrata Bhattacharya, Vasco did have a great opportunity to equalise in the 57th minute but an unmarked Joy Ferrao headed out Jerose Olivera’s superb cross before Nigerian Koko Sakibo failed to get a vital touch from point-blank range in the dying moments.

The six minutes of added time did create some tension but Vasco’s inability to break down a heavily-fortified ONGC defence did nothing to change their fortune.
Livid with the outcome, Bhattacharya hit out at referee Mahesh Bisht accusing the Delhiite of poor decision making. “Yes, we did not play well but the standard of refeering was poor. ONGC’s time-wasting tactics completely went unnoticed and a few free kicks did not come our way.”

Sporting win
In the day’s other match, Mohammedan Sporting pulled off a regulation 2-0 win over North Imphal Sporting Association. Switching their ploy from attack to a completely holding game, largely to keep the nibble-footed NISA players silent, Sporting faced little problems from the Manipuris.
Theodore Sunday Wrobeh struck the opener in the 38th minute while Brazilian striker Eduardo Da Silva Escobar struck deep in stoppage time.
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