Signals secured their first win in the league.

Corps of Signals-Vasco was another crucial clash in the Goan top flight. Vasco Sports Club had to pay for missed chances, as they went down to Corps of Signals by a 3-2 margin in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Monday.

Nim Bhutia put Signals ahead in the 34th minute, while two quick second half goal from Suraj Mondal (52nd and 54th minutes) put the Port Towners ahead. But, Signals struck back through substitute Vishnu Chhetri, who first converted a penalty in the 76th minute and scored the winner in the 79th minute, to book their first three points in the league.

Signals coach Eban Mesquita made three changes to his side, which held Guardian Angel SC to a goalless draw. Shuklab Bordoloi, Ankan Dawn and U-20 Rohan Rodrigues got starts for the Army men. Meanwhile, Vasco, who had lost to Panjim Footballers by a 3-0 margin had two changes to their side. Tactician Micky Fernandes replaced Ivorian striker Lago Bei with Suraj Mondal, while Amit Das was also back in the lineup for the Port Towners.

Signals started the match on an attacking note and came close to scoring in the 7th minute. Skipper Solomon Khongsai sent a perfect corner to Michael Silva in the box, but the lad headed wide. A few minutes later, they came up with another swift attack. Aditya Dcrus setup Romanse MS with a short pass. He went for glory from distance, but his powerful grounded shot missed the target by a few inches.

After some probing attacks, Signals finally managed to break the deadlock in the 34th minute. A fine cross by Nokul Singh was headed by Nim Bhutia and hit the post, before settling down in the net to make it 1-0 for the Army men.

The Port Towners had a chance to level in the 45th minute. Their U-20 winger Sheldon Pereira nicely curled the ball to Suraj in the box, but the Vasco lad saw his shot hit the  post before going out for a goal-kick.

At half-time, the Signals coach made a double substitution. Both U-20 starlets Rohan and Aditya made way for Vishnu Chhetri and Pawan Thakur.

Vasco showed eagerness to find the equalizer in the second half, as they produced some swift attacks right after the restart. In one of these, Suraj made a darting run from his own half and entered the box cutting past three opponents, but failed to beat Signals keeper Binu Purushotham.

Another great opportunity went in vain for the Port Towners in the 52nd minute. Sanwil D’Costa sent a fine cross into the box, but Suraj’s header was easily collected by Signals keeper Binu. However, Vasco levelled terms in the same minute. Another fine cross from Micky Vaz was smartly headed in by Suraj to make it 1-1.

Energized by an equalizer, the Port Towners took just two more minutes to surge ahead for the first time in the match. Skipper Anil Gaonkar made a superb run into the box cutting past a few opponents on his way and found Suraj in front of goal. His header finished between the Signals keeper and a defender to make it 2-1.

Vasco had a great opportunity to further extend their lead on the hour mark. Suraj made a perfect cross to Sheldon in the box, but the U-20 winger’s header went over the crossbar.

At the other end, the Army men had two back-to-back opportunities to even out the scoreline. First, Amit Das cleared Pawan Thakur’s goalbound attempt off the line. A minute later, Shuklab fed Solomon with a beautiful cross in the box, but his strike was brilliantly blocked by Vasco keeper Sanju Thapa.

Vasco had another opportunity to inflate their lead in the 72nd minute. Sheldon snatched the ball from Signals defender Romanse and squared it to an unmarked Suraj in the box, but the midfielder’s strike was brilliantly blocked by keeper Binu.

However, Signals refused to give up and scored two goals in the next eight minutes to turn the match on its head. First, Vasco’s Raju Padashi brought down Signals defender Michael in the box to give away a penalty. Substitute Vishnu calmly beat the Vasco custodian from the spot to make it all square.

Three minutes later, the Army men once again surged ahead. Pawan made a through pass to Vishnu, who produced a swift run and easily finished the ball in the net to make it 3-2.

Click here for the Goa Pro League 2019-20 points table after this match.