Stephen Satarkar and Saeesh Halarnkar clinched victory for the Greens with all three goals coming in the second half.
Sporting Goa-Salgaocar was a crucial game for both teams. In the event, Salgaocar FC came from a goal down to beat Sporting Clube de Goa 1-2 in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Wednesday.
Marcus Mascarenhas’s early second half goal had given the lead to the Flaming Orange, but two late goals from substitute Stephen Satarkar and Saeesh Halarnkar booked the important victory for Salgaocar.
U-20 midfielder Chaitan Komarpant was the lone change in the Salgaocar side which defeated Sesa FA in the last match. Whereas, Sporting coach Savio Vaz.
The Greens made an attacking start to the match, as they were completely dominant in the first quarter with continuous forays, but Sporting’s defence kept every threat at bay.
They had the best chance to take the lead in the 13th minute. A long ball was brilliantly headed on to Devendra Murgaonkar by Denil Rebello, but the forward’s strike went just over the crossbar.
Salgaocar’s second best chance came in the 26th minute. Saeesh Halarnkar struck from the edge of the box, but the Sporting custodian brilliantly pushed it for a corner. A few minutes later, Salgaocar keeper Jason D’Mello was also tested. Cjetan played a perfect through pass to Stendly Fernandes, who easily overlapped his rival defender Stephen Alvares and went for glory from inside the box, but the rival custodian just had to dive to his left to collect the shot.
The Flaming Orange once again came close to scoring just before half-time. A long throw-in by George D’Souza was nicely flicked on to Philip by Marcus Mascarenhas, but the Nigerian striker saw his header fisted over the bar by keeper Jason.
Unlike the first half, Sporting started attacking from the start of the second and it was just four minutes after the resumption when the Flaming Orange surged ahead through Marcus. A curling cross by their U-20 midfielder Delton Colaco was smartly headed in by the forward to put his side into the lead.
At the other end, Salgaocar’s star striker Devendra should have leveled the terms for his side in the 62nd minute when he was setup by Satarkar with just the keeper to beat, but a Sporting defender cleared the danger.
However, the Greens finally managed to find the equalizer in the 84th minute when a long throw-in was nicely collected by Devendra. He setup substitute Stephen in the box, who calmly shot past the rival custodian to make it all square.
When it was looking like Sporting woould go home with at least a point, the visitors sunk their hopes in the 90th minute. Godfrey Mascarenhas fired a powerful strike from inside the box, which was blocked by Sporting keeper Melroy. But, the loose ball was brilliantly tapped in by Saeesh to book all three points from the hard-fought match.