A sloppy NRB Vasco FC nearly threw away vital points against Luangmual FC (Mizoram) but eventually won the match in the second division I-League on Tuesday.
NRB Vasco FC (16 points) now awaits Wednesday’s match between Mumbai Tigers FC (16 points) and Southern Samity (14 points) to ascertain if it will progress to the next round.
A draw will push Vasco through, while a win for Southern Samity will send the Goan team out of the competition. With a head-to-head advantage, Mumbai Tigers is already assured of a spot from this group.
On a gloomy evening, Vasco basked in a one-goal lead provided by Murali Joseph’s authoritative side-footed finish in the 14th minute. Vasco then let its guard down and nearly paid the price.
Content with playing the waiting game, the Goans gave Luangmual plenty of possession. The Mizoram team, however, wasted five clear chances in the second-half.
In the 84th minute, a penalty gave Vasco much-needed breathing space. After substitute Agnelo Colaco was brought down, Joseph scored his second goal.
Tayo saves the day
Earlier, a late equaliser from Michael Tayo helped Kalighat Milan Sangha hold South United FC to a 2-2 draw.
South United did well to get a 2-1 lead before an injury-time header by Tayo helped the team draw level.
South United (seven points) and Kalighat Milan Sangha (10 points) have finished their fixtures and have no chance of making the cut.
Kalighat Milan Sangha 2 (Reisang Pemmi, Michael Tayo) drew with South United FC 2 (Amoes, Vignesh); Luangmual FC 0 lost to NRB Vasco FC 2 (Murali Joseph 2).
Wednesday’s matches: Hindustan FC vs Eagles FC; Mumbai Tigers vs Southern Samity.