The South Goan side had lost each of their first three matches in the competition this season.
Two goals each from Ronil Azavedo and James Fernandes helped Velsao Sports and Cultural Club (SCC) beat Panjim Footballers 4-2 in the Goa Pro League on Sunday.
It was Panjim who took the lead first through Akash Sanadi in the eighth minute. However, they could not keep it for long, as Ronil scored in the very next minute to restore parity. There was no looking back for the South Goan side, as they added another in the 16th minute. James, who scored the second, completed his brace in the first half injury time. Panjim pulled one back in the 66th minute through Janio Fernandes. However, Ronil scored his second in the dying minutes to clinch the first win for Velsao SCC.
Both Panjim and Velsao SCC entered this contest on the back of defeats. Panjim, who lost to Dempo SC by a 3-0 margin made multiple changes to the side. Franky Oliveiro, Sridar Naidu, Lakesh Gawas, Sainath Kankonkar, Deep Pednekar and keeper Joe Bence were named in the starting XI. Velsao, on the other hand, made only one change to the side that lost 2-1 against Salgaocar FC.
Panjim had an early chance to take the lead in the second minute. They were awarded a free-kick just outside the box. However, Velsao keeper Jeet Gupta made a brilliant save to deny Akash Sanadi’s goalbound strike from the set-piece. They had another opportunity in the sixth minute. This time Chandan Gawas smartly cut it back to unmarked Franky in the box. But, the forward’s strike deflected off a Velsao defender and went out for a goal kick.
The capital city side finally managed to break Velsao’s defence in the eighth minute. Franky snatched the ball from Velsao’s Velito Cruz and squared it to Akash, whose sparkling shot found the net. However, Velsao equalized just a minute later. Ronil Azavedo took advantage of Panjim’s defensive lapse to get into the box and make it 1-1.
Velsao kept the pressure with continuous attacks and managed to take the lead in the 16th minute. James Fernandes headed in off Chandel Fernandes’ pinpoint cross.
Energized by two quick goals, Velsao came up with a series of attacks. Cajetan Fernandes saw his powerful shot saved by Panjim keeper Joe. A few minutes later, Sheldon came with a cross to James in the box. However, the unmarked forward could not control his header.
However, a fine cross from Rohan Rodrigues in the added minutes of the half found James. This time he made no mistake in slotting the ball home to put Velsao in the driver’s seat.
Panjim put the kitchen sink in the second half and made three substitutions. They managed to reduce the margin in the 66th minute. A perfect through pass from substitute Krishna Gawas found Janio Fernandes, who shot past Velsao keeper to make it 2-3.
The capital city side tried hard to get back into the match with continuous raids in search of the equalizer. However, they couldn’t change the scoreline. At the other end, Velsao restored their two-goal lead in injury-time. Ronil made a swift run from the halfway line and dribbled past Panjim keeper Joe to complete his brace.