Sporting Clube de Goa remained rooted to the bottom of the I-league table with a heavy 4-1 defeat to Bengaluru FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Custodian Lalthuammawia Ralte once again stole the show as he prevented Odafa Okolie from scoring.
Keegan Pereira and Beikho Beingaiccho were relegated to the bench as Lalchhuanmawia and Thoi Singh took their places in the starting XI. Mateus Costa went without Victorino Fernandes and Sandesh Jhingan, with the latter being the surprisingly omitted.
First Half: Bengaluru FC on the prowl, Josh Walker Scores
The first half began with a series of long balls played end to end from both sides. However, following this phase of the game, Bengaluru FC were the ones that looked the most threatening. Sean Rooney was the beneficiary of the first chance as Miguel Garcia was called into action early. In spite of the Blues on the ascendancy, the formidable attacking unit of Anthony Wolfe and Odafa Okolie posed a serious threat. Bengaluru’s man of the moment, Lalthuammawia Ralte was called into action as he palmed away Odafa’s crafty curling shot. Sporting were dealt with a major blow when skipper and marquee player Anthony Wolfe had to be withdrawn due to a dislocated left shoulder. Attacking midfielder Marcus Mascerenhas came on to his place.
With 33 minutes played, the Blues found themselves in a promising position courtesy of a foul on skipper Sunil Chhetri. Eugeneson Lyngddoh’s low and crafty free kick found the head of Josh Walker as the latter found himself on the score sheet.
The first half therefore came to a close with both sides failing to put away promising attacks. BFC custodian Ralte’s sensational save was the last piece of action of the first half.
Second Half: Sporting Goa on the ropes; Rino, Thoi and Beikho seal the deal
Mateus Costa’s depleted unit took the field for the second half, looking to draw level. Little did they know that a Bengaluru blitz was on its way. Barely five minutes into the second half, Rino Anto found his name on the score sheet for the first time in this season with a calm tuck-in, assisted by Sean Rooney.
Mateus Costa’s introduction of Beevan D’Mello and Victorino Fernandes failed to alter the script as Thoi Singh quickly netted the third goal for Bengaluru FC. An unfortunate slip from Rojen Singh saw Beikho Beingaiccho and Thoi Singh (60) find themselves on a two-on-two situation with the Sporting Goa defence, with the latter finding the back of the net. Beikho Beingaichho sealed the deal as he slotted in the fourth goal with barely 10 minutes to play.
Victorino Fernandes nets a consolation for Sporting Clube de Goa
A couple of minutes following Beingaichho’s goal, Victorino Fernandes secured a consolation for his side. The youngster’s stinging shot took a deflection, leaving Ralte with absolutely no chance.
Apart from a satisfying 4-1 win, Udanta Sing’s first appearance made the headlines. Speaking to the media in the press conference, Ashley Westwood mentioned that there is more to come from the young forward. Apart from that, the Englishman lauded the displays of Beikho and Ralte in particular. The win sees Westwood’s men in second place, as they face off against third placed Royal Wahingdoh on Friday.