Margao: Okolie Odafa did the star turn as he guided Mohun Bagan to a 3-1 win over Sporting Clube de Goa, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Margao, on Sunday.
The win, perhaps, couldn’t have come at a better time for the green-and-maroon brigade. Bagan, who were in the danger of relegation with 21 points and four matches left to be played, will be breathing a little easy. Their good show took them to the eighth spot in table with 24 points from 21 matches.
It was also Bagan’s first win in I-League after five matches and three months!
The last one was against Pune FC back in December.
Leading from the front was Odafa. He scored a brace and was involved in almost every attack of Bagan. The other goal was scored by Christopher Chizoba. For Sporting Clube, Rowllin Borges scored the lone goal.
Odafa was in the thick of action in the first minute itself when Katsumi Yusa’s intelligent lob saw the Nigerian all clear. But his right foot deserted him as he finished with a tame effort which went past the far post.
Bagan got another chance in the seventh minute as Christopher Chizoba spread the ball wide to Pankaj Moula who delivered a wonderful cross to find Odafa, but the Nigerian’s header was poor. The ball fell to Yusa on the far left who headed it directly on to the onrushing goalkeeper Ravi Kumar.
The hosts, on the other hand, took time to settle down. Playing with just one striker in Boima Karpeh, they found it difficult to threaten the rival defence. In the tenth minute, they mustered their first real chance of the game as Cajetan Fernandes dribbled past Pritam Kotal and whipped in a great cross to Boima, but his header was off the mark as the scoreline remained unchanged.
Odafa was constantly troubling the rival defence. In the 26th minute, he ran past both the Sporting central defenders, rounded off the goalkeeper and struck a left-footer.