Angels keeper Pratheesh Veettil played an influential role to secure all three points from the difficult match.
Guardian Angel Sports Club secured a hard-fought 2-1 win over FC Goa in the Goa Pro League match played at Duler Stadium on Friday.
Ghanaian striker Bamba Musah and Beneston Barretto scored in the first half for the Angels. While Lalawmpuia scored from a set-piece in the second 45 to reduce the margin for the title holders.
Angels coach Riston Rodrigues made three changes to his side following a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Dempo in the last match. Beneston Barretto, Allwyn Vas and Tyson Carvalho made starts. Meanwhile, FC Goa who secured an easy win against Vasco in the previous match had several changes to their side. Princeton Rebello and Kingslee Fernandes came into the starting XI, along with Icon Costa, Kapil Hoble and Lalawmpuia.
After some end-to-end play, it was the South Goa side who surged ahead in the 11th minute. Leny Fernandes sent in a fine cross, but Ghanaian striker Bamba Musah saw his goalbound header deflect off an FC Goa defender and go out for a corner. However, they managed to take the lead from the resulting set-piece. Gilbert Oliveira’s perfect corner was brilliantly headed in by the Ghanaian striker from close range to make it 1-0 for the Angels.
They had an opportunity to double their lead in the later part of the half. Beneston nicely cut past a defender on the edge of the box and found Aslon Oliveira with a low cross. But, FC Goa’s Kapil Hoble made a timely clearance to limit the damage for his side.
The Junior Gaurs came close to scoring when Princeton tried his luck from distance in the 45th minute. But, Angels keeper Pratheesh Veettil made a diving effort to block his goalbound strike.
At the other end, Angels’ Beneston doubled the lead for his side in added-time. His curling strike from just outside the box gave no chance to FC Goa’s diving keeper Dylan Da Silva.
On changing the ends, FC Goa came close to reduce their margin in the 48th minute as Lalawmpuia made a defence-splitting through pass to Kapil in the box but Angels keeper Pratheesh came off his line to clear the danger.
Down by two goals, FC Goa made a substitution in the early second session as Christy Davis replaced Kingslee to sharpen the attack. The midfielder had an opportunity to reduce the margin in the 54th minute when he snatched the ball from Angels’ defender and cut past couple of opponents to enter the box but Angels keeper Pratheesh denied him in one-on-one situation.
Angels keeper Pratheesh was lucky in the 70th minute to escape without a red card as he brought down FC Goa’s Lalawmpuia just outside the box where he was booked. However, Lalawmpuia took the revenge of a reckless tackle from the resultant free-kick as he nicely curled the ball in the net to make it 2-1.
The Junior Gaurs had a chance to level back in the past few minutes of the match as Kapil sent a cross to Doyal Alves in the box but the substitute forward directly went for glory and his weak shot was easily collected by Angels keeper Pratheesh.
Angels were reduced to 10 men in the 88th minute as Ghanaian striker was sent off following a direct red card from referee Sunil Nanondkar for using abusive language.
Angels keeper Pratheesh came with two brilliant saves in the added minutes as he first parried Serineo Fernandes’ free-kick, while a few minutes later, he made an acrobatic effort to deny Kapil’s goalbound strike from the distance.
In the other match of the day in the Goa Pro League, Calangute Association defeated Velsao SCC 0-1. Alesh Sawant scored the only goal of the game.