Joyson Gauncar scored the winning goal to edge past Dempo SC in the final.
Panjim Footballers were crowned champions of the 17th Goa Police Cup. They edged Dempo Sports Club by a solitary goal in the final played at Duler Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Panjim had made it to the final with a neat 2-0 win over Calangute Association. Dempo, on the other hand, reached the final through a penalty shootout win over FC Goa.
The side from Goa’s capital had an early opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box. But, Akash Sanadi’s strike directly went into the waiting hands of Dempo keeper Wallyster Menes.
The Golden Eagles took 16 minutes to register their first potent chance, as Vinay Harji flicked a fine corner by Velanco Rodrigues wide. However, the ball went just over the crossbar. Dempo saw another attack go in vain. This time Richard Cardoz squared a ball to Darell Mascarenhas who tried his luck 30 yards out. However, Panjim keeper Preston Rego brilliantly parried it for a corner.
They had another opportunity in the 32nd minute of the Goa Police Cup final. Shubham Malvankar went for glory from the distance. However, this beat Panjim keeper Preston following a reverse touch from Dempo forward Latesh Mandrekar. He was unlucky to see it rebound off the woodwork.
Panjim showed eagerness to find the net after the break and came up with numerous attacks on the rivals. They finally managed to break the deadlock in the 61st minute. Joyson Gauncar snatched the ball from Dempo’s Darell and clinically finished it to make it 1-0 for his side in the Goa Police Cup final.
It was a near escape for the Golden Eagles in the 72nd minute of the Goa Police Cup final. Their goalkeeper Wallyster delayed to clear a back-pass from his defender Klusner Pereira. Then, Irfan Yadwad tried to reach the ball, but his weak touch could not make any difference.
At the other end, Dempo’s substitute Pedro Gonslaves should have made it all square when he was perfectly fed in the box by Alber Gonslaves. However, he could not direct a free header into the net.
Dempo had one last chance to level terms in the added minutes from a free-kick just outside the box. Dempo defender Klusner Pereira stepped forward and tried to find net from distance, but Panjim keeper Preston came up with a breathtaking save to push his goalbound set-piece for a corner.