A 6.4 magnitude earthquake may not have rattled Air India as much as Sporting Clube de Goa's amazing but controversy-ridden turnaround. Leading 1-0 till the 48th minute, Air India saw the Goa team score two quick-fire goals to win their Group D encounter of the Federation Cup here on Sunday.
Sporting Clube de Goa's equaliser came under the scanner right after Kaila Karpeh seemed to head in the ball from a lob. Air India players, complaining that Karpeh had scored off his hand, demanded the goal to be rescinded and refused to play till then.
Match commissioner MG Suvarna rushed to the scene and calmed nerves, defending the referee's decision.
The controversy clearly affected Air India as they soon conceded goal though there was no debate here - former Churchill midfielder Ogba Kalu sent a rasping long-ranger that beat Air India custodian Pawan Kumar with ease.
Sporting's win was probably deserved given the way they had a iron grip on the match, what with possession and building attacks. Sporting Clube de Goa goalkeeper Gerard D'Mello fouled Air India striker Henry Ezeh inside the six-yard box, and the referee pointed to the spot.
United SC wins grudge match
A normal group league clash between two new-look teams assumed different proportions due to the acrimony between United SC and former owners Chirag Group, who now bankroll the erstwhile Viva Kerala team and presently United Kerala.
As much as United Kerala would have liked to get one back on behalf of their sponsors, on field, they were outplayed and Josimar Martins' 17th minute strike sealed the win.