Xavier brace spurs HASC to easy win

Xavier brace spurs HASC to easy win

FootballL: I-League II Division: Local outfit notch up 4-1 victory over Sporting

Xavier brace spurs HASC to easy win

Show-stopper: HASC’s Xavier Vijay Kumar (center) celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Mohammedan Sporting in their I-League Second Division match on Sunday. Dh photo

Veteran Xavier Vijay Kumar led the fascinating show with a second consecutive brace while Frederick Okwagbe and Rajendra Prasad thundered in a goal apiece as the Aircraftmen maintained their impressive form much to the delight of their fans at the Bangalore Football stadium.

Indicative of the scoreline, HASC were a cut above their opponents for the better part of the fixture, except for a minor blemish when Theodore Sunday Wrdbeh struck the opener for Sporting in the 21st minute. The Aircraftmen, who used to lost the grip over proceedings after conceding an early goal on some previous occasions, this time replied in outstanding fashion as they countered every Sporting challenge solidily.

If Xavier dominated the wings, attacking and defending brilliantly, Satish Kumar Jr tresspassed the rival defence at will. Young defender Ricky Joy, entrusted with the job of marking the dangerous Eduardo Da Silva, did his job perfectly but the unsung hero was goalkeeper Amar Deb.

The 25-year-old pulled off three successive saves in the 53rd minute when HASC had just gone into a 2-1 lead before stopping a stinging shot form Eduardo 10 minutes later and a couple more vicious free-kicks from the Brazilian.

After knocking at Sporting’s door on a host of occasions, HASC equalised through Xavier 38th (minute) when the medio breezed into the box from the right and blasted the ball past a stunned Sporting custodian Naseem Akhtar. Much criticised for his sloppy finishing, Nigerian striker Okwagbe sent the crowd into a frenzy when he rifled the ball over Akhtar seven minutes into the second half.

With tension mounting after Sporting were denied the equaliser with some gritty defending, Xavier calmed the nervous with a lob in the 77th minute, giving HASC a 3-1 lead. Sporting’s day ended more embarrassingly when Akhtar shot the ball straight to Prasad in injury time, the medio made no fumble.

Other result: Vasco: 2 (Joy Ferrao 60th, Koko Sakibu 84th) bt NISA: 0.