Adding to the Goa Pro League and GFA Charity Cup, the Junior Gaurs won their third straight silverware.
FC Goa were crowned champions of the Goa Police Cup 2019 as they beat Sporting Clube de Goa by a 7-6 margin via a shootout in the final, played at a jam-packed Duler Stadium, here on Thursday. The match was tied to a 1-1 draw in the regulation time as Nestor Dias took the lead for the Goans, while Philip Odogwu equalised for the Flaming Orange.
Sporting who had made it to the finals with an easy 2-0 win over Churchill Brothers SC in the semifinals had two changes to their side as Assumption Soares made the first start of the season, whereas, Akeraj Martin was back in the starting Xi for the Flaming Orange. On the other hand, Delzan Passanha and Vincy Barretto made into the cut for the ISL development side who secured a 2-0 win over Dempo SC in other semifinals.
Sporting started the match as a defending champion as it took just five minutes for them to come close to scoring. A fine pass by Sachidanand was nicely collected by Philip Odogwu and dribbled past two Goan defenders to enter the box but his powerful strike from the acute angle was brilliantly blocked by Goan keeper Antonio Da Silva. A few minutes later, they had another great opportunity when their skipper Marcus Mascarenhas and found onrushing Sachidanand near the goal but the lad fumbled with the ball with just rival keeper at the stake.
It took 16 minutes for the Goa Professional League Champions to create their first potent chance as Sporting keeper Akshat Hadkonkar failed to clear danger where Christy Davis was in the commanding position to put his side ahead but the midfielder headed wide with empty-net in front of him.
Sporting once again came with a furious attack from the right flank as this time skipper Marcus went for the glory with a sparkling shot from the top of the box but Goan custodian Antonio blocked it as the cost of a corner. A few minutes later, Marcus had another opportunity to take the lead when their left-back Assumption Soares sent a long cross to him in the box but he failed to keep his header on target as the ball went over the crossbar.
At the other end, Goan took the lead through Nestor Dias as Christy smartly snatched the ball from Sporting defender Peter Carvalho at the top of the box and found Nestor with a short pass where the midfielder covered few steps before blasting the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-0 for his side.
Sporting had an opportunity to level back in the 45th minutes when their skipper Marcus tried his luck from the edge of the box with an over-head shot where Goan keeper Antonio failed to collect the ball but Sporting forward Philip shot missed the target by a whisker.
However, in the added minutes, Sporting managed to make it all square when Sachidanand made a brilliant pass to Philip who directly fired a fierce shot from the top of the box which entered the top corner make it 1-1 for the Flaming Orange.
Sporting almost took the lead within five minutes after changing the ends when a long clearance from Girish Naik was brilliantly controlled by Philip and with his first touch he dribbled past Goan defender Lalnmangainsanga but his strike rebound off the crossbar.
Goan also had a chance to take the lead in the 71st minute when Lalawmpuia sent a fine cross to Sezwin Fernandes in front of the goal but the lad’s header missed the target by a few inches. A few minutes later, Sezwin was in the action again when he easily danced past Sporting’s defender just outside the box and went for glory but his goalbound strike was brilliantly flicked away by Sporting keeper Akshat.
Goans were reduced to 10 men in the dying minutes of the match as their midfielder Nestor was sent off when he pushed down Sporting medio Gautam Dias. Sporting Brandon Gomes was also booked by the referee as the defender was involved in the same.
In the shootout, skipper Marcus, Assumption, Gautam, Sachidanand and Myron Fernandes scored, whereas Girish and Brandon missed the target from the spot for the defending champions. Hayden Fernandes, Bawitlung, Lalnmangaihsanga, Lalawmpuia, Sezwin and Ivon Costa were on the target, while, skipper Leander D’Cunha was lone from the Goan side to miss the spot-kick.