A Sumeet Passi header in the 90th minute helped Sporting Clube de Goa scrape past Mumbai FC by a solitary goal in a Round 1 match of the Hero Federation Cup played at the Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday evening. The two sides meet in the return-leg in Goa on May 4.
The home-side seemed set to make most of the home advantage count with the early exchanges in and around the Sporting Goa’s final-third area. But it was the visitors who had the first real chance 5 minutes into the game.
A Nicholas Fernandes cross down the left-flank was met by Densill Theobald inside the 18 yard area but the latter’s mistimed effort denied Sporting Goa in what was their finest opportunity in the first half.
The two sides failed to produce noticeable goal-scoring opportunities for a majority of the first-half finding no time and space where it mattered.
With much of the game played in the midfield, a large proportion of the chances in the first-45 minutes of play came through set pieces or long-ball down the vacant flanks.
Sporting Goa next came agonizingly close to taking the lead six minutes before half-time. A Rowllin Borges’ free-kick from outside the 18-yard-box was tipped over by Mumbai Goalkeeper Kunal Sawant.
Mumbai FC replied with a similar chance from a Steven Dias free-kick which was convincingly parried-away by Arimdam Bhattacharya standing under the visitor’s goal.
In the first half, Mumbai FC were unable to create real pressure but produced a better performance as the game progressed into its final stages. A Clifford Miranda cross was met with a Steven Dias first-time hit volley but Arindam was equal to the task.
As the match was about to end in stalemate a darting run in the 9oth minute from second-half substitute Victorino Fernandes was met an onrushing Sumeet Passi, who directed his header into the goal to give his side the one-goal victory and that precious away-goal to carry forward into the second-leg.
by I-League Media