Churchill Brothers hammered Guardian Angel in the second semis.
Sporting Clube de Goa booked their place in the finals as they eased past Salgaocar FC by a comfortable 2-0 margin in the first semi-finals of the 15th Goa Police Cup, played at Duler Stadium earlier today.
Sporting who had defeated Velsoa SCC in the quarter-finals had two changes as their gaffer Mateus Costa brought in Nigerian defender Sodik Ibrahim and Marcus Mascarenhas in the starting XI, whereas, Salgaocar coach Norbert Gonsalves made only one changes to his side which hammered St. Savio SC by a 4-2 margin in the last eight round as goalkeeper S. Rajini Kumar made into the cut.
Both the teams played an attacking football in the first few minutes where first Sporting came close to scoring in the 6th minute when Alesh Sawant found Nigerian striker Philip Odogwu in the box with a fine corner but the striker’s header went just over the crossbar, whereas, a few minutes later, Salgaocar U-20 star striker Devendra Murgaonkar set up Umesh Harijan in the box but the lad shot wide from inside the box.
Sporting should have surged ahead in the 20th minute when Salgaocar midfielder Umesh’s back pass was intercepted by Nigerian striker Philip who covered some ground but failed to keep his shot on target from inside the box. Whereas, Salgaocar had the best chance in the 27th minute when Nigerian striker Joel Sunday brilliantly set up Rosario Mendes’ long throw-in to Umesh in the goalmouth but the midfielder’s shot was brilliantly blocked by Sporting custodian Melroy Fernandes.
After some probing attacks, Sporting scored two quick goals in the last five minutes of the first session as first, Marcus made an easy tap-in to Glan Martins low cross in the box to put his side ahead, whereas, in the closing stage of the session, Nigerian striker Philip brilliantly headed in off Cajetan Fernandes’ corner to make it 2-0 at the half-time for the Flaming Orange.
On changing the ends, Sporting almost further inflated their lead in the very 2nd minute of the second session when Alesh tried his luck from the distance but his fierce shot rebounded off the crossbar.
Sporting had few more chance but aimless shots from Cajetan, substitute Girish Naik and Philip restricted the scoreline.
Salgaocar continued their attacking play till the full-time whistle but Sporting defence led by Sodik, Joseph Clemente along with George D’Souza and Myron Fernandes on both the wings stood tall to keep their side safe, whereas, Sporting last line gave no space to Salgaocar highest scorer in the Goa Professional League striker Sunday who was even failed to create a single shot on target.
In the second semi-final played at the same venue under the floodlights, Churchill Brothers Sports Club beat Guardian Angels Sports Club by a 5-1 margin to join Sporting Goa in the finals to be played at Bambolim Stadium on 2nd May 2018.
Churchill took the lead in the 27th minutes through Alber Gonsalves who found the net with an easy tap-in to Nigerian Francis Oneyama’s low cross, while Angels took just four more minutes to cancel it as Alson Fernandes’ long throw-in was smartly put in back of the nylons by Aslon Oliveira to put his side on the level. However, in the 37th minute, Uttam Rai, who has scored five goals in last two matches restored the lead for the Red Machines with an easy tap-in to Francis’ another fine low cross as Churchill went into the breather with a slender lead.
On changing the ends, Churchill quickly inflated their lead through Francis. The Nigerian striker easily cut-past two defenders and shot past Angels keeper from the top of the box to strengthen their hold on the match.
Churchill scored two more goals in the span of nine minutes as first, Alber headed in off Terence Lobo’s curling free-kick to complete his brace, while in the 69th minutes, Churchill defender made a clinical finish from inside the box to make it 5-1 for the Red Machines.