Morale-boosting win for United, Dempo shocked

Cash-strapped United SC overcame off-field hardships with a 2-0 win over debutants Rangdajied United FC in their I-League opener here on Sunday.

Last two season’s top scorer Ranti Martins (65th) gave United the lead with a header, while ONGC recruit Eric Brown (75th) struck a stunner after a goalless first-half to give United SC full points to start the season.
After their title sponsors disappeared in the Bengal financial scam, the Kolkata team failed to get a new sponsor to put together the team. But the players including high-profile Ranti and Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie remained united even as they had only 21 days of practice to start the season.
In the north-eastern outfit, the purple brigade faced a stiff challenge as both teams played out a goalless first-half.
The home side looked more threatening in the second half and were rewarded in the 65th minute when the Nigerian ace headed the ball home from an Eric freekick. Ten minutes later, Liberia’s Eric opened his account with a spectacular shot from the edge of the box. Up 2-0, United held on in the remaining 15 minutes.
In Mapusa, Goa, Shillong Lajong rode on Trinidad World Cupper Cornel Glen’s double strike to script a shock 3-0 defeat of former champions Dempo in their lung opener. Glen scored in the 30th and 67th minutes while Boithang Haokip found the target in the 38th for Lajong who came here with a determination to break the jinx of poor record against Goan sides.
In Bengaluru, Mohun Bagan’s C.S. Sabeeth scored in the dying moments to neutralise a second half strike from Sean Rooney as Bagan shared the honours with debutants Bengaluru

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