New Delhi:Sporting Clube-de-Goa had the woodwork to blame as they went down to Mahindra United 3-5 in a penalty shootout in the quarter-final of the Osian's Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Monday.
Samananda Singh's penalty kick came off the crossbar with all other efforts in the tie-breaker being on target. The result was a repeat of the one in the quarterfinals of the Federation Cup which also was decided in a similar fashion.
The match had gone to the Russian roulette after both teams failed to find the mark in 120 minutes of open play. N P Pradeep, Manjit Singh, Harpreet Singh, Mohammad Rafi and Ghanain Yusuf Yakubu were successful.
Kenyan Bonface Ambani, Micky Fernandes and Bibiano Fernandes made it for Sporting with Samananda Singh missing the second of those attempts.
As is the usual strategy, Mahindra brought on substitute keeper Subhashish Roychowdhury for the tie-breaker and the move paid dividends. This had worked during the Federation Cup in Ludhiana with Roychowdhury getting his team over the line against the same team as well as Dempo Sports Club.
With the semifinals scheduled for tomorrow, the teams would have preferred to settle in its regulation time, but it did not seem likely from the beginning.
The two sides have faced off on a number of occasions in recent times and know each other's games inside out.
Hence, the first half was a cagey affair with the battle mainly concentrated in midfield.
But there seemed to be a fair bit of needle between the teams as was evident with the frequent challenges flying in.