Margao: Bhaichung Bhutia’s debut as United Sikkim Football Club coach was not a memorable one as Sporting Clube de Goa recorded a fighting 2-1 victory over the visitors in an I-League clash, at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, here, on Sunday.
Japanese striker Seiya Sugishita opened the account in the 10th minute and Ogba Kalu made it 2-0 five minutes later to give Sporting Clube a dream start.
Sandesh Jhingan pulled a goal back for United Sikkim at the stroke of half time but there was no change in the scoreline in the second session.
The win took Sporting Clube to seven points while United Sikkim were left with just four points at the end of the sixth round.
Sporting Clube started strongly with both strikers, Seiya and Nigerian strike Richard Obiova working in tandem.
They harassed the USFC defenders and it surprised nobody when, in the 10th minute, Seiya got at the right end of Joseph Pereira’s cross and lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper Yoon Tae.
The goal spurred Sporting and within five minutes it was Kalu who made it 2-0.
The Nigerian midfielder was nicely picked up by Seiya just outside the box and Kalu took the rival goalkeeper by surprise with a snap shot that beat him all ends up.
Sikkim got a lifeline at the stroke of half time when a freekick from Michael Rodriguez saw Sporting goalkeeper Gerrard D’Mello parry the ball away, but Sandesh was on hand to tap the ball home.