The Academy Boys came from a goal down to secure a point from the match.
FC Goa were held to a 1-1 draw by Sesa Football Academy in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Friday. Hayden Fernandes scored for the Junior Gaurs, while Richard Cardoz level the terms for the Academy Boys.
Nestor Dias and Sarineo Fernandes were the two changes in the FC Goa side, which defeated Corps of Signals in the last match. Whereas, Sesa coach Charles Dias made only one change to his side, which secured a comeback 2-1 win over Salgaocar FC in the previous match. Forward Lalshram Meittei made the cut for the Academy Boys.
After some end-to-end play in the first 10 minutes, FC Goa had a chance to take the lead in the 11th minute, when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box. But, Sesa keeper Sapam Singh stretched to his limit to push Lalawmpuia’s goalbound strike for a corner.
A few minutes later, Sesa also came up with their first potent chance of the match. Winger Richard Cardoz sent a fine cross to Lalshram in the box, but the forward failed to head the ball home. Richard came with another curler in the 24th minute to Olvin Cardozo in the box, but FC Goa defender Brian Faria cleared the danger at the cost of a corner.
The Academy Boys had two more chances in the next 10 minutes. First, Olvin made a perfect cross to skipper Malvin Lobo in the box, but the defender’s free header went wide. A few minutes later, Richard came up with another masterclass from the left, but this time Vishnu failed to convert as his chest directed attempt missed the target narrowly.
At the other end, the Junior Gaurs produced two swift attacks on their rivals. First, Lalawmpuia’s goalbound strike was brilliantly fisted over the crossbar by Sesa keeper Sapam. Whereas, Kapil Hoble saw his long ranger rebound off the crossbar in the 36th minute.
FC goa keeper Antonio Da Silva was also tested in the 43rd minute. After getting a short pass from Domnic, an unmarked Lalshram went for glory from the top of the box, but custodian Antonio blocked it for a corner. The FC Goa custodian came up with another superb save, as Domnic’s sparkling shot from the edge of the box was brilliantly fisted over the crossbar for a corner.
FC Goa surged ahead just five minutes after the restart. Leander D’Cunha’s cross was blocked by Sesa defender Melvin in the box. The ball rolled to FC Goa midfielder Hayden Fernandes at the top of the box and his powerful strike entered the far post to make it 1-0.
However, the Academy Boys refused to give up and came out attacking. Finally, managed to level terms in the 67th minute. Richard collected Domnic’s through pass in the box and brilliantly shot past FC Goa keeper Antonio from an acute angle to make it 1-1 for his side.
Energized by the equalizer, Sesa produced three more raids on the rivals, but FC Goa keeper Antonio brilliantly denied Olvin, Richard and Visnu to keep his side safe.
Sesa had the best chance to take the lead in added-time, when Russell Vaz was brought down just outside the box by FC Goa defender Brian. Referee Jose Dias cautioned the defender and awarded a free-kick to the Academy Boys, but Olvin shot wide from 20-yards as the match ended in a stalemate.