Panaji: Sporting Clube de Goa and Shillong Lajong settled for a point each after their I-League clash ended in a goal-less draw at Duler Stadium in Mapusa here on Tuesday. Both the teams failed to play entertaining football as there was not much goal mouth action.
While Lajong saw more of the ball in the first session, Sporting did well to take control in the second session, although strikers of both the teams failed to show any quality. Sporting goalkeeper Ashok Singh was tentative at the start and it was his mistake that presented Shillong with the first chance in the 12th minute.
A terrible miscommunication between the goalkeeper and defender Mathew Gonsalves saw Gbeneme Friday with an opportunity just outside the box, but Mathew did extremely well to dispossess him just in the nick of time. Sporting's first chance came from a counter-attack.
Joseph Pereira snatched a ball from a Lajong player and sent a long ball to Prathesh.m The midfielder, however, could not release the ball in time. Another counter attack, this time initiated by Jovel Martins saw Ogba Kalu use the outside of the foot to pick striker Seiya Sugushita, but the Japanese was a wee bit slow to react.
In the second session, Sporting continued to attack but it were Lajong who almost surged ahead. A intended ball into the heart of the Sporting defence saw Sushil Singh with an easy chance to head home from handshaking distance but the India striker messed it up, allowing the goalkeeper with a chance to save the attempt.
The easiest chance of the match, though, fell at the feet of Victorino Fernandes of Sporting in the 64th minute. Kalu lobbed an overhead ball beautifully for Victorino, who beat the offside trap, but could not get the better of goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte in a one-on-one situation. The draw takes Sporting tally to 13 points from 13 matches, while Lajong have 11 points from 14 matches.