Chandan Gawas scored a brace in the capital side’s success.
Panjim Footballers-Guardian Angel was a crucial game for both teams. In the event, Panjim Footballers came from two goals down to secure a 3-2 win over Guardian Angel Sports Club in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Friday.
Two first half goals from Yakubu Mohammed had given a comfortable lead to Angels at half-time, but a brace from Chandan Gawas and a goal from Joyson Gauncar helped the capital side to secure the important three points.
Angels coach Riston Rodrigues made three changes to his side following two defeats against Vasco SC and Churchill Brothers SC. Defender Benzu Clemente, U-20 midfielder Joel Baretto and Ghanaian forward Yakubu Mohammed were back in the lineup.
On the other hand, the Panjim coach made only once change to his side which defeated Calangute Association in the last match. Defender Alston Camotio found his name in the starting XI. Angels had defeated the capital side by a solitary goal in their previous meeting in October.
It was just past six minutes on the clock when Angels managed to break Panjim’s defence. Beneston Barretto nicely controlled the long clearance from his teammate Ot the right flank and found Yakubu with a square pass in the box. The Ghanaian striker cut past a Panjim defender and blasted the ball into the goal to put his side ahead.
A few minutes before this, Panjim had a chance to take the lead when Lloyd Cardozo tried to find his teammate Krishna Gawas with a low cross, but Angels’ keeper Pratheesh Veettil came off his line to clear the danger at the cost of a corner.
After some probing attacks, Angels finally managed to double their lead at the half hour mark. Another of their Ghanaian forwards Bamba Moctar made a swift run on the right wing and sent a low cross to his counterpart Yakub in the box. He just had to tap the ball home from point-blank range to make it 2-0.
The Curchorem-side had a chance to inflate their lead just before half-time. Their skipper Beneston collected a loose ball on the halfway line and made a darting run on the flank, but his powerful strike from inside the box was brilliantly blocked by Panjim keeper Preston Rego.
Panjim had the best chance to reduce the margin at the start of the second half. Their midfielder Vallmiky Miranda delivered a brilliant through pass to Lloyd in the box, but Angels keeper Veettil once again rescued his side, as he came off the line to thwart the forward. A minute later, Panjim substitute Clifton Fernandes had a chance to find the net from the edge of the box, but the lad shot wide.
Clifton had another opportunity to score in the 48th minute. Vallmiky found him in the box with a perfect curler, but the substitute midfielder headed wide.
However, Panjim managed to reduce the margin in the 50th minute. Lloyd made a short pass to another substitute Mahesh Kumar, whose powerful shot was blocked by Angels keeper Veettil, but the loose ball was easily tapped in by Chandan Gawas to make it 2-1.
Chandan should have levelled terms a further two minutes. Mahesh set up him in the box with a perfect cross, but the lad failed to keep his header on target with just the keeper to beat.
After missing out on several opportunities, the capital side made it all square just before the hour mark. A square pass from Lloyd was comfortably tapped in by Joyson Gauncar to make it 2-2 for his side.
Angels suffered another blow in the 68th minute when their keeper Veettil was sent off for deliberately handling a ball just outside the box. Angels coach Riston sacrificed his Ghanaian striker Bamba to bring in keeper Jeet Gupta under the crossbar.
Making the most of the their man advantage, the capital side surged ahead for the first time in the match in the 77th minute. Angels’ substitute keeper Gupta managed to block Vallmiky’s sparkling strike from the top of the box, but he failed to clear the danger completely and an unmarked Chandan smartly put the ball in the back of the net to make it 3-2 for Panjim.