PUNE: Bharat FC defender Mehrajuddin Wadoo headed in a 60th minute corner to give the Pune side a deserving 1-0 win against Sporting Clube de Goa, as they leapfrogged to No 8 position on the Hero I-League table on Wednesday.
In a face-off between two lowly-placed sides, Bharat FC was lucky to have come out unscathed after the Goan team raised the tempo of the match and carried several raids but failed to give finishing touches.
Three full points meant that Bharat FC moved from No 10 position to No 8 just above Dempo Sports Club and behind Salgaocar FC. Both Bharat FC and Dempo are on 8 points, while Salgaocar are on 11.
Winless Sporting Clube de Goa is at the rock bottom with 3 points from three drawn matches of the eight contests.
Wadoo was the saviour of the day for Bharat FC as the right back leapt to a perfectly floated corner and headed towards Sporting goalkeeper Lalit Thapa. The ball got to the fingers of Thapa but deflected in and landed into the back of the net to give Bharat FC the much needed respite.
Bharat FC had made three changes to the side that lost to Mumbai FC with Bobby Hassell, Tomba Singh and Dharmaraj Ravanan joining the starting eleven. Jayaseelan Prasad, Bikramjeet Singh and Steven Dias were benched by Stuart Watkiss.
Sporting showed intent of scoring early on when they earned free-kicks in the danger areas soon after the proceedings began. But the shots taken by Jovel Martins and Rowlin Borges were nullified by Bharat FC defence.
Wadoo was deservedly adjudged ‘Player-of-the-match’ for his brilliant work from the start. First he combined with Romauld Boco to create a chance early on, only to see his effort go vain in the face of some stiff Goan defence.
He was again in the middle of the action when he tried to loop the ball into the net on a pass from Sandesh Jhingan, but he was way off the target.
New Zealander Kris Bright then wasted a good chance when his feeble header off Bobby Hassell’s free-kick was stopped by Thapa.
On resumption, Bharat FC got a few chances before Wadoo put them ahead in the 60th minute. Soon after there was a chance to double the lead when Subhash Singh raced with the ball tackling a few defenders to set up Boco on the edge of the box, but the Benin international missed the goal by a whisker.
Hero of the Match – Mehrajuddin Wadoo (Bharat FC)