New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) When ONGC locked horns with United Sikkim in a 13th round I-League encounter at the Ambedkar Stadium here Saturday, the two goalkeepers ensured that lighting does not strike twice. Thus, the tie finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Nadong Bhutia and Sachin Gawas were the scorers for United Sikkim and ONGC respectively in the first half. Courtesy this result, Sikkim now have nine points from 13 outings while ONGC have 11. Yoon Tae was adjudged the man of the match for his heroics under the bar for Sikkim.
The visitors surged ahead in the 13th minute when a Nima Tamang cross from the right flank was converted from close range by Nadong Bhutia.
But their joy was shortlived as the hosts restored parity 11 minutes later through Sachin Gawas. Robin Gurung's acrobatic goal line clearance initiated the counterattack which saw some crisp passing between Santosh Kashyap's wards before rightback Gawas scored the equaliser.
Sikkim were the better side in the first half and could have been 2-1 up going into the break had Bhutia not spurned a sitter in the opening exchanges of the match.
Some exceptional goalkeeping at both ends of the field was on display post the breather.
If ONGC's Rehenesh T.P. palmed away a stinging Bhutia right-footer, Yoon Tae closed down Eric Brown diligently minutes later. In the dying minutes of the match, the two shot stoppers rose to prominence once again. Both pulled off two crucial double saves to keep their respective teams in the hunt.
Result: ONGC 1 (Sachin Gawas - 24th) drew with United Sikkim 1 (Nima Tamang - 13th).