Prayag United SC, amid growing concerns of losing its principal sponsor next season, dished out a match-winning display to humble ONGC 3-1 in the 26th round of the I-League at the Kalyani Stadium, near here, on Saturday.
In the process, its main goal-scorer, Nigerian Ranty Martins Soleye, emerged the highest goal-scorer of the I-League for the third year running. On the final day he finished with a brace taking his tally to 27.
This is the fifth time the Nigerian has emerged the highest scorer, the previous being in 2005-06, 2006-07 (joint with Okolie Odafa), 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13.
Ranty, playing for Dempo the previous two years, had scored 30 and 32 goals.
United SC ended with 44 points behind East Bengal. The team won 13 out of 26 matches in which five were drawn and lost eight games, ONGC lost the ninth game of the season to end with 31 points.
It was Ranty who opened the scoring with a 29th-minute strike. He scored the second at the stroke of half-time. After the break, Kayne Vincent made it 3-0 with a 57th-minute goal. ONGC pulled one back in the 71st minute through Fanai Lalmuanpuia.
On Sunday, East Bengal will take on Shillong Lajong FC in the final league match at the same venue.
Sen no to Sporting
Meanwhile, Sanjoy Sen has decided not to stay as head coach of the newly promoted EMTA Mohammedan Sporting Club for the coming season. Citing personal reasons, Sen, who fashioned the team’s qualification to the I-League by winning the second division, informed the club of his decision on Friday.
The result: Prayag United 3 (Ranty Martins 29, 46; Kayne Vincent 57) bt ONGC 1 (Fanai Lalmuanpuia 71).