The Red Machines suffered their first defeat in the Goa Pro league.

Sporting Clube de Goa registered a hard-fought 1-0 win over Churchill Brothers Sports Club in the Goa Professional League on Saturday. Substitute Clive Miranda scored the goal just at the start of the second half to secure all three points.  

Sporting Goa, who were held to a goalless draw by Guardian Angel SC in their last match, made two changes against Churchill Brothers. Alton Vaz and Liston Cardozo returned to the starting XI. On the other hand, Vikas was the lone change in the Red Machines, who thrashed YC Manora 4-0 in their previous encounter.

The match started with an end-to-end affair before Churchill took control of the game. They should have taken the lead in the 7th minute after receiving a free-kick just outside the box. Quan Goes nicely laid the ball from 25 yards but forward Afdal Varikkodan could not connect a free header.

Two minutes later, the Red Machines had another opportunity to take the lead. Quan played a perfect long pass to Afdal, but Sporting keeper Ozen Silva came out of the box to clear the danger. Another great chance went into vain for the Varca-based club in the 32nd minute. This time Yagya Kapoor’s well-taken corner was flicked towards Asif Molla by Saurav Mandal. However, the latter could not put the ball in the net from point-blank range.

Sporting coach Savio Vaz brought in Clive Miranda to replace Dattaraj Gaonkar at halftime. Just four minutes later, Miranda was celebrating after scoring with a diving header from a Girish Naik free-kick to put Sporting ahead.

Two minutes earlier, Churchill had squandered a chance to go ahead. Aaron Bareto set-up Afdal with a headed pass, but Sporting defender Alton made a timely clearance.

Down by a goal, Churchill came out all guns buzzing and had several chances but could not capitalise. In one instance, Aaron easily cut past Sporting defender and tried his luck. However, Sporting custodian Ozen produced a brilliant save. A few minutes later, Churchill’s Quan combined with Afdal to go through on goal. However, he failed to keep his shot on target from close range.

The Flaming Orange also had a chance to double their lead in the dying minutes of the match. However, Churchill defender Vikas came up with a wonderful block to deny Akeraj Martins.

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