Mevan Dias scored the only goal of the game.

FC Goa edged past Panjim Footballers by a solitary goal in the Goa Pro League 2021-22 match played at Duler Stadium on Friday. Young forward Mevan Dias’ goal in the 18th minute made the difference between the two teams.

Joyson Gauncar and Lokeshkumar Talwar were the two changes in the Panjim side that held Sesa FA in the previous round. FC Goa, who had secured a 2-0 win over Velsao SCC made the same number of changes to their starting XI as Velroy Fernandes and Aditya Salgaonkar found themselves in the lineup.

The Gaurs started the match on an attacking note and made numerous raids on their rivals in the first 15 minutes itself. They finally managed to break the deadlock three minutes later, as Deeshank Kunkalkar launched a corner-kick into the box. The ball was cleared by Panjim’s defence but it rolled to an unmarked Aditya who found his teammate Mevan Dias with loads of space.

The young forward made no mistake in tapping the ball home from close-range to make it 1-0 for FC Goa.

FC Goa should have doubled their lead against just ten minutes later as this time Deeshank snatched the ball from Panjim Footballers’ defender Pratik Naik and stormed into the box. However, Janio Fernandes made a timely clearance to keep his side away from further damage. At the other end, Panjim were awarded a free-kick just outside the box, where Irfan Yadward chose to directly go for glory only to see his goal-bound strike nicely punched over the crossbar by the Gaurs’ goalkeeper Hansel Coelho.

The team from the Goan capital side got another opportunity in the 39th minute, when a long clearance from ‘keeper Preston Rego found Irfan who easily dribbled past Coelho. But his shot was brilliantly cleared by FC Goa’s defender Ivon Costa.

Panjim continued their hunt for the equaliser in the second half as well, and they had the best opportunity in the 51st minute when Coelho hesitated to collect a back-pass. Irfan tried to win the ball but Goa defender Lesly Rebello eventually thwarted the danger.

Panjim had a few more opportunities, but most of their attacks fizzled out in the final third. Meanwhile, FC Goa’s Mevan could have doubled their lead late in the second half, but the youngster shot wide from close-range.

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