New Delhi: Ten-man ONGC took their unbeaten streak under coach Santosh Kashyap to three as they blanked Pailan Arrows 3-0 in a 14th round I-League match at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Saturday.
An own goal from Arrows defender Pritam Kotal following a corner kick in the fifth minute set the tone for ONGC as they went on to increase their lead through Eric Brown and F Lalmuanpuia in the 30th and 67th minutes respectively.
Brown was given the marching orders for stamping Pritam Kotal in the 68th minute. Courtesy this win, ONGC went to 13 points from that many matches while Arrows remain on 14 from 13 outings.
ONGC were lucky to take the early lead as Yusa Katsumi’s corner was deflected off Pritam Kotal's right-foot into the back of the net. The home side were pressing from the word go earning their first flag kick in the very first minute. The goal came from their third corner in five minutes.
The All India Football Federation developmental side read the tempo of the game and sat deep to pounce on the counter. But it was one of those days for Arthur Papas and his boys when nothing went their way.
Eric Brown doubled the tally in the half hour mark, connecting a brilliant cross from Man of the Match Sachin Gawas.
Arrows had their moments too. In the 41st minute, Kotal's clearance from the heart of Arrows' rearguard was beautifully trapped by Alwyn George to set up Holicharan Narzary whose shot, however, sailed over the bar. Of Rajinder Singh's spadework in the dying minutes of the first half, Prabir Das shot wide.
Meanwhile, Air India will regret that one moment of defensive lapse that cost them two points in their against Sporting Clube de Goa, on Saturday.
Substitute Victorino Fernandes snatched one point from Air India, who seemed running away with three full points with just one-and-a-half minute to go into the three minutes of added time.
Credit must go to Clube de Goa for not losing hopes till the end even after they were reduced to 10-men in the 31st minute.
Air India had taken the lead in the 34th minute through Elijah Obagbemiro Junior and then defended stoutly before the added time faux-pas cost them dearly.
The 1-1 draw meant Air India and Sporting Clube de Goa stay on 9th and 10th positions respectively with 12 points apiece. Frustration writ large on the face of Air India players when Victorino's right footer flew over the stretched Jagroop Singh and into the top corner of the goal post.
The match began with Air India opening forays, but Sporting held its own. But their frustration turned into a nightmare when Keita Boubacar committed fouls in a space of four minutes forcing the referee to pull out the red card.