SHILLONG: Rangdajied United FC ran into an orange brick wall as they lost 2-1 to Sporting Clube de Goa in a rescheduled I-League match at the JN Stadium, Polo, on Wednesday.
The Flaming Oranje scored once in each half through Rowllin Borges and Cajetan Fernandes, while Ranti Martins pulled one back for Rangdajied in the 90th minute.
Rangdajied had won four of their last five contests prior to this game, including three at home, so the fans would have been expecting another solid performance from the Blues. However, they were treated to a rather listless display as the home team lacked bite until the dying minutes of the game.
The match was a fairly even affair for the first 20 minutes before Sporting took the lead in the 27th minute.
Kalu Ogba fed the ball forward looking for the intimidating presence of Boima Karpeh, but Rangdajied goalkeeper Surjay Kumar Pariyar came to the edge of the box to clear the ball away.
His kick went straight to Borges, however, who took a long-range shot over the head of the out of place Pariyar to make it 1-0.
The hosts’ only half chance in the first session came in the sixth minute when a chip by Steven Dias forced Sporting’s keeper Melroy Fernandes to put the ball out for a corner.
Martins had a couple of shots blocked by the goalkeeper in first few minutes of the second session, including a sitter in the 50th when he had just Melroy to beat.
A Munmun Lugun handball just outside the Rangdajied box then proved fatal as Cajetan made it 2-0 to the visitors just before 60 minutes.
The Sporting player did not put a lot of power into his shot, instead relying on perfect placement. The ball hit the upright and skidded in across the goal line.
Rangdajied later began to show some signs of making it a contest, putting the Goan team under pressure.
The Oranje looked tired in the field and Martins, steaming into the box, was able to slide the ball in past Melroy to pull one back for the hosts in the 90th minute.
Martins has now scored in all six appearances for RUFC, netting seven goals to extend his time as the club’s lead scorer this season.
Kim Song Yong then skewed a header wide soon after, but Sporting Clube’s time-wasting tactics worked well as they were able to hold out for the win a few minutes of stoppage time later.
Rangdajied thus remain in eighth place in the standings and have played more ganes than any of the teams below them, which may not augur well if the others can improve on their performances.
Sporting Goa, meanwhile, have jumped from sixth position to third on the back of this victory.
Team P W L D GF GA Pts
Bengaluru FC 21 11 5 5 35 24 38
Salgaocar FC 21 10 7 4 28 22 34
Sporting Clube de Goa 21 9 7 5 29 28 32
Dempo SC 21 8 6 7 25 20 31
East Bengal 19 8 4 7 28 19 31
Pune FC 20 8 5 7 27 21 31
Shillong Lajong FC 21 7 6 8 29 31 29
Rangdajied United FC 22 6 10 6 28 36 24
Mohun Bagan 21 5 7 9 21 21 24
Mumbai FC 21 4 5 12 25 27 24
United SC 21 4 7 10 20 28 22
Churchill Brothers 19 4 9 6 19 30 18
Mohammedan Sporting 20 4 10 6 18 25 18