Late Indian Navy goal denies ONGC all three points in their Elite Division opener

ONGC and Indian Navy shared the spoils as they drew 1-1 in the first Elite Division game of the new year, played at Cooperage on 2nd January 2015. The two heavyweights failed to close the gap on the run away leaders Mumbai FC getting just a point out of the game.

ONGC playing their first game of the league, got off to a slow start as Indian Navy were out of the blocks quickly. ONGC goalkeeper Agulo Gomes was forced into action just three minutes into the game when he did brilliantly to come off his line and clear a long ball chased down by Indian Navy forward Bibake Thapa.

Indian Navy almost scored a minute later when when Bibake Thapa shot just over after meeting a cross from Vikramjeet Singh who was played in by the B.Thapa initially. The initial openings meant Indian Navy had wind in their sails as they worked the ball well in the opening twenty minutes of the game.

In the 24th minute, Indian Navy’s G.P Sharma send a half volley goalwards, but the shot was centimetres above the crossbar. It was a brilliant effort from the Indian Navy wide man.

Two minutes later, ONGC’s Kailash Patil replicated the attempt as he fired the shot over. It was ONGC’s first real endeavor at the Indian Navy goal. ONGC forced a brilliant save out of Bhaskar Roy in the 30th minute when Kailash Patil chested down a cross to fire goalwards from close range, but the Indian Navy goalkeeper was up to the mark.
ONGC were slowly getting into the game as they thought they took the lead on 33 minutes when ONGC put the ball in the net, but the goal was disallowed after the Indian Navy goalkeeper was fouled in the build up to it.

Although Indian Navy enjoyed most of the possession, ONGC managed to conjure up decent amount of chances for themselves as the half drew to a close with the game still deadlocked. ONGC’s Kilash Patil nearly put ONGC in front in the first minute of stoppage time as he fired a shot just over from the edge of the box.

It was goalless at half time in a game which the Indian Navy had edged in terms of possession, but there was a lack of penetration from both sides.

ONGC upped their game in the second half, matching Indian Navy’s vigor on the ball. They nearly profited ten minutes into the second period as Karan Atwal missed from close range as tried to steer a scuffed effort from Lavino Fernandes, who had initially latched on to a loose clearance from the Indian Navy defender to shoot.

ONGC were now the stronger force in the game, but it was Indian Navy who nearly scored against the run of play when a lofted cross from the right wing hit the crossbar only for the rebound to be cleared by the ONGC defence.
But that did not seem to deter ONGC who were growing in confidence as Karan Atwal’s vicious drive in the 73rd minute was acrobatically tipped over by Bhaskar Roy.

ONGC’s second half resurgence was rewarded in the 78th minute when newly introduced substitute Jatin Singh Bisht as he fired a free kick from just outside the box in off the post to give ONGC a deserved lead.

All of Indian Navy’s good work in the first half was undone as they stared at their second defeat in the league this season. But they had little more left in the locker as they equalized three minutes from time when ONGC goalkeeper Agulo Gomes horribly misjudged a cross from Akash Kamble which went straight in to bring Indian Navy level.

The goal gave Indian Navy the momentum as they pushed for the win in the dying minutes. Indian Navy forward Britto PM profited from a mix up in the ONGC defence only to send his shot wide. It was a good chance for Indian Navy to literally steal the three points off ONGC.

Neither could strike a killer blow as the referee signaled the end of the game as both teams had to settle for a point each. Considering the level of the opposition both teams would be fairly satisfied with a point.

It was a game of two halves as Indian Navy edged the first one, while ONGC had the better of the second one. So overall, the draw seemed to be a fair reflection of the afternoon’s action.

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