Stendly Fernandes scored the only goal of the match.

Sporting Clube de Goa registered a hard-fought 1-0 win over Salgaocar FC in the Crosstown Derby of the Goa Pro League match played at Duler Stadium on Wednesday.

Sporting coach Savio Vaz made numerous changes to their side following a 1-1 draw against Sesa FA in the last match. Goalkeeper Ozen Silva and Dattaraj Gaonkar made a comeback, whereas Prasil Kankonkar along with youngsters Richie Vaz and Caine Moura made their first start for the Flaming Orange. On the other hand, Salgaocar coach Levino Pereira chose to go with the same XI which earned him a comeback victory against Velsao SCC in their previous match.

Sporting should have taken the lead in the fifth minute. Youngster Riche snatched the ball from Salgaocar defender Saurabh Patil and sent it to well-placed Marcus Mascarenhas in front of goal, but the forward failed to connect with an empty net in front of him. They came with another potent attack in the very next minute. Rohit sent a long pass to Marcus. He covered some ground before entering the opponent’s box, but shot wide.

At the other end, Salgaocar came close to scoring in the 12th minute. Antush Moniz’s back-heel pass setup Daryl Costa in the box, but the lad saw his powerful shot blocked by Sporting keeper Ozen Silva. A few minutes later, Daryl was once again in the action. He easily dribbled past every opponent and tried to find the net from inside the box, but Sporting keeper Ozen who was beaten by the Salgaocar forward with brilliant footwork, recovered on time and made a timely save.

The rest of the half witnessed end-to-end play, but none of the sides could find the net. Salgaocar had a few close looks at the goal, but strikes from Umang Gaikwad and Daryl missed the target narrowly. On the other hand, Marcus missed the target on a couple of occasions, as both sides were goalless at half-time.

In the break, both sides made a couple of changes. Akeraj Martins and Stendly Fernandes came in for Sporting, while Chaitan Komarpant and Selwyn Miranda were brought in by Salgaocar coach Levino.

Sporting came out stronger in the second half and raided their rivals on many occasions. First, Stendly’s strike was blocked by Salgaocar keeper Jason. A minute later, Marcus saw his goalbound header pushed for a corner by the rival custodian. On the hour mark, Marcus tried to connect with Rohit’s cross, but failed with an overhead attempt.

However, Sporting managed to take the lead in the 71st minute. Akeraj received a perfect long pass from Stendly who made no mistake from inside the box to make it 1-0. They almost doubled their lead with 10 minutes remaining. Stendly’s cross was nicely connected towards goal by Rohit, but keeper Jason came with a goal-line clearance to save his side from any further damage.

At the other end, Salgaocar who were trailing by a goal, came out attacking and almost found the equalizer in the added minutes. Daryl made a brilliant through pass to Chaitan whose shot rebounded off the goalpost.

A few minutes later, Chaitan came with a curling strike from the top of the box, but this time keeper Ozen nicely fisted it over the crossbar. In the meantime, Sporting midfielder Girish Naik who was cautioned earlier for time-wasting, was shown the second yellow card followed by the red card for aggressively marching on referee Prasad Surlakar.

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