panaji: sept 11th :::: Sporting Clube de Goa were held to a 2 – 2 draw by the Salgaocar FC in their second encounter of GFA’s TACA Goa Under 20 at Duler Stadium, Mapusa on Sunday. Akeraj Martins (35’) & Daryl Costa (70’) gave Flaming Oranje the lead twice while Salgaocar FC equalized on both occasions through Devendra Murgaokar (45’+) & Divyansh Sudan (90’+).
Sporting started off with a familiar 4 – 4 – 2 formation, while the forward line had a definite boost with the inclusion of Akeraj Martins who missed out on the previous match. The first half witnessed a very balanced game play as both teams made a cautious approach towards the crucial encounter.
However it was Sporting who drew the first blood when their explosive striker Akeraj Martins announced his return in style with a fantastic run on the right flank to beat two defenders and send in a bullet past the Salgaocar FC keeper giving Sporting the lead. Sporting managed a few more promising attempts in the first half through Daryl Costa and Harshad Naik but couldn’t get past the Salgaocar keeper Antonio Da Silva. Salgaocar FC made the most of their best chance in the first half which came in the added time. Devendra Murgaokar who came in as a sub managed to smartly beat Sporting’s off-side trap to receive a good ball from Lalit Taniyal and place it past Shervin to put things on level terms seconds before the break.
In the second half Sporting showed intent as their forward trio created some promising runs but couldn’t make it count. In the 55th minute Karen Shirodkar of Salgaocar FC got his marching orders for a rash tackle on Harshad Naik reducing The Greens to 10 men. Exploiting the one man advantage Sporting made some promising moves of which the best one came in 58th minute when Akeraj Martins made a head on run against the Salgaocar keeper but the latter managed to see off the danger, at the other end Shervin had a similar experience seeing off a dangerous run from Lalit. Once again Sporting took the lead when their in-form Daryl Costa beat his marker on the left flank to drill a low shot past the SFC keeper making it 2 – 1. Sporting held on to the lead right till the end as they managed to keep possession and exploit the large gaps in Salgaocar formation. However for Flaming Oranje, the injury time ghost came back haunting when Divyansh Sudan of Slagaocar stole 2 points off with a low right footer after being set up well by Manesh Kumar in the dying seconds of second half injury time. With this result Sporting have collected 4 points from the two matches played.