I-League 2016 action moved to the north-eastern state of Meghalaya where Shillong Lajong played hosts to Mumbai FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Sunday. In a closely fought encounter, the game ended in a goalless stalemate which meant both teams earn a point apiece. In the second match of the evening, Ranti Martins scored two goals to power East Bengal to a 3-1 victory against Sporting Clube de Goa in Fatorda.
I-League 2016: Match 3- Shillong Lajong vs Mumbai FC
Hosts Shillong Lajong made news as they resigned Nigerian striker Penn Orji last month. He created an instant impact on the opposition as his first minute effort went marginally wide of the goal post. Lajong had another chance in the 21st minute when striker Ulliams Souza Silva fired in a scorcher but missed narrowly as the ball brushed against the outer face of the net.
Mumbai FC found their best chance of the game in the 37th minute but were denied by two impressive saves by Shillong goalkeeper Vishal kaith. First, he palmed away Sushil Singh’s shot from outside the box and then saved Arata Izumi’s rather weak effort off the rebound. The young goalkeeper displayed a great deal of confidence throughout the match and will certainly be one of the players to watch out for in the games to come.
The second half was comparatively dry as neither of the teams managed to get a grip over proceedings. Ulliams’ free-kick in the 76th minute was the only highlight of the 2nd half as the ball missed the crossbar by a couple of inches. At full-time, the scores read 0-0
Match 4- Sporting Clube de Goa vs Kingfisher East Bengal:
The second match of the evening was hosted by the Fatorda stadium in Goa where hosts Sporting Clube de Goa faced Kingfisher East Bengal in their first I-League 2016 encounter. The latter, who field one of the most formidable line-ups of the I-League 2016 were shocked in the 29th minute by their opponents as Odafa Okolie scored from a close range to put Goa into the lead. Rehenesh TP, the East Bengal custodian, came out of his line but failed to make the save. The score remained 1-0 at the end of the first half.
Ranti Martins spoils the party for Goa with brace:
East Bengal began the second half in a positive manner and were desperately looking for an equalizer. In the 67th minute, Dong Hyun Do sent in a cross and Ranti Martins responded with a brilliant header that darted into the right corner of the goal. Eleven minutes later, Martins provided a vital assist to Bikash Jairu who complimented his teammate with a stunning overhead kick, leaving keeper Arindam Bhattacharya clueless. In the 81st minute, Ranti Martins sealed the game for the visitors as he smartly placed one beyond the goalie’s reach and into the goal. At full time, the score read 3-1 and this was sufficient to take East Bengal to the top of the table.
Matchweek 2 Fixtures:
Saturday, 16th Jaunary
Aizawl FC vs Bengaluru FC at 1:00 PM
Mohun Bagan vs Salgaocar FC at 4:30 PM
Sunday, 17th January
Sporting Clube de Goa vs DSK Shivajians at 4:30 PM
Mumbai FC vs Kingfisher East Bengal at 7:05 PM