A goalless draw made no difference in their standings…

Football Club de Bardez held the high-flying Sporting Clube de Goa as they played out a goalless draw in the Goa Professional League match played under floodlights earlier today.

The Pink Brigade was high on confidence after defeating Corps of Signals in their last match, While the Flaming Orange were flying high with an unbeaten run in the league. But the high-scoring draw against Guardian had brought down their confidence.

Sporting coach Mathew D’costa made only three changes as Loveday Eninnaya was back in the line-up replacing suspended Ponif Vaz. He also brought in Quan Gomes and Joseph Pereira in place of Seriton Fernandes and Victorino Fernandes. The Bardez coach Armanod Colaca also made the same number of changes with Cavin Soares, Rowilson Rodrigues and Alesh Sawnt coming in for Lenston Afonso, Anil Chawan and Sarineo Fernandes respectively.

The first FIVE minutes of the match belonged to Sporting, as they made numerous attacks on THEIR opponents. In one of these attacks, Cajetan Fernandes tried to find Francis Dadzie in the box, but defender Rowilson cleared it before the striker could get to it. At the other end, Sporting keeper Ravi Kumar brilliantly blocked Alesh’s curling free-kick from the edge of the box, the ball rolled to Rowilson whose header was again cleared by defender Loveday. In the 15th minute, Rowilson was booked for a rough tackle on Shawn Noronha.

A few minutes later Sporting once again came close to scoring when Cajetan found Clemente in the box with a perfect corner, but the Sporting defender failed to control his header and missed the target by hairline distance. One more chance came Sporting’s way but Bardez keeper Mirshad K made a diving save to push Dadzie’s long range shot wide. At the other end, Alesh came up with a beautiful cross to find latesh Mandrekar in the box, but the U20 striker failed to control the ball. The Bradez keeper was the busiest person on the pitch as he stretched to his limits to stop Glan Martins this time. After wasting many chances both sides entered the dressing room 0-0 at the break.

The start of the second half saw three back-to-back attacks from the Pink Brigade on their opponents. First, Alesh got hold of a loose ball on the halfway line, covered some ground to enter the box but Loveday made no mistake to clear the ball for a corner. Later Girish’s lofted shot brushed the crossbar and went out for a goal-kick. While, the third attempt was again wasted by Alesh when he shot wide from six yards off Jassel Carneiro’s cross.

Once again Bardez came close to scoring but this time Joel Sunday saw his shot miss the target narrowly. Sporting gaffer brought in Seriton in place of U20 Daryl Cost to bring some pace in the match and he proved him right as in the very next minute, he dribbled past two defenders and entered the danger zone but the winger failed to keep his shot on target. Sporting came up with one more chance when Cajetan sent a perfect cross to Loveday in the box, but Nigerian defender’s goalbound header was cleared off the line by Bardez defender Cavin.

Last few minutes of the match saw intensive play from both the ends but both the sides failed to find a winner and the match ended in a goalless draw.

The Pink Brigade coach Armando was happy after the result and said, “My boys played well against a good team. We had some chances but we could not convert them. But in the end, people enjoyed the match.”

With today’s draw, Bardez remain at the 5th spot with 23 points from 12 matches, while Sporting stand top of the league table with 29 points from 13 outings.