Goa Pro League

Controversy ensues as Salgaocar-Calangute clash called off in GPL

Harigovind Thoyakkat

April 17 2021
Salgaocar Calangute

The Goa Football Association will take the final call on the fate of the match. 

The Goa Professional League match between Salgaocar FC and Calangute Association was called off after being played for 72 minutes, following protests from the Beachside players after they were not allowed to retake a penalty.

What Happened?

The match took an interesting turn in the 72nd minute when referee Mario Pereira gave a penalty to Calangute after Salgaocar defender Linbert handled Melvin’s shot. Calangute’s Ivorian striker Kouame Kossouno stepped forward and calmly converted from the spot. But, the referee directed a retake, as Calangute substitute Akash Jadhav entered the box before the taking of the spot-kick. However, after Salgaocar’s players protested, referee Mario consulted his assistant and awarded a free-kick for Salgaocar. Calangute players and officials protested against the referee’s decision and refused to play. Match Commissioner Egidio Da Costa took over an hour to call off the match.

What they said?

Salgaocar secretary Adlear D’Cruz said, “The decision of the referees is correct, as the assistant referee Melwin D’Costa is very much experienced and has officiated in many ISL matches. So, if he (assistant referee) can take a call on a penalty being at the far end than the assistant referee’s decision to give an indirect to free-kick is correct.”

While their coach Levino Pereira said, “it is a very clear decision that we never refused to play. The opponents did it, so it should be three goals and three points to us.”

However, Calangute tactician Valentine Ezeugo had something different in his mind, as he said, “In the first place, I want to say that these referees are against us from past matches. I don’t understand how a referee can give a free-kick to them when it was a penalty retake. I don’t think he (referee) should have changed his decision after giving the goal. They (GFA) should give three points to us, as this is referee’s mistake.”              

Earlier in the game

However, earlier in the match, Salgaocar tactician Pereira made four changes to his side, which suffered a shocking 3-1 defeat at the hands of Guardian Angel SC. Stephen Alvares, Prathamesh Stardekar and Fhezer were back in the lineup. Meanwhile, Linbert Rebello made his first start for the Greens. On the other hand, Fulganco Cardozo was the lone change for the Beachside.

It was the Greens who came up with the first potent chance of the match in the fifth minute. Steflon darted in the box and tried his luck from an acute angle. However, Calangute custodian Paramveer Singh nicely blocked him. The ball rolled to unmarked Fhezer, who saw his strike hit the crossbar.

A few minutes later, Salgaocar came up with another swift attack. Saeesh Halarnkar made a pinpoint long cross to Selwyn Miranda. He covered some ground before unleashing a powerful strike from inside the box, only to see it denied by the bar.

At the other end, Calangute were awarded a free-kick just outside the box. Set-piece specialist Nickson Castanha tried his luck with a direct shot on target, but Salgaocar keeper Jason D’Mello nicely blocked it to keep his side safe. The Greens had once last chance before half-time. Stephen made a swift run after getting onto a loose ball and found Steflon in the box. But, the forward’s sparkling strike missed the target narrowly.

Second Half

On crossing over, Calangute came close to taking the lead in the 50th minute. Chaitan Dabholkar made a darting run and tried to find his teammate Siddhant Shirodkar in the box. But, Calangute defender Saurabh Patil cleared the danger before the rival striker could do any damage.

Salgaocar also had a chance to surge ahead in the 55th minute. Forward Fhezer intercepted a back-pass from Calangute’s Rohan Kamble, but the speedy forward could not keep his shot on target.

Failing in the final third, Salgaocar coach Levino brought in his lethal weapon Stephen Satarkar. But, the lad could not make any difference to the scoreline. 

 However, they had another opportunity to break the deadlock in the 66th minute. Substitute winger Valentinho Nazareth made a swift run on the wing and nicely curled the ball to Steflon from the right flank. But, Calangute keeper Paramveer dived to his limit to push the ball to safety.

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