The Beachside were reduced to 10 men in the final few minutes of the game.

Calangute Association managed to squeeze past Panjim Footballers by a 3-2 margin in an entertaining Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Tuesday.

Siddhant Shirdkar scored two quick goals (9′ and 12′) to give an early lead to Calangute, while Lloyd Cardozo reduced the margin for Panjim in the 43rd minute. Whereas Pandurang’s powerful strike in the 48th minute helped the Capital City side to level back. However, Siddharth Kundaikar’s goal in the 57th minute sealed the three points for the Beachside club. 

The Beachside had two changes to their side which held Sporting Clube de Goa in the previous match as their coach Valentine Ezeugo brought back defender Krishnanath Shirodkar and U-20 forward Siddhant Shirodkar. On the other hand, Panjim coach Thome Alex Alvares made the changes in wholesale following a hammering 5-0 defeat at the hands of the same opponents as Xavier Rebello, Liston Cardozo, Krishna Gawas, Lloyd Cardozo, Akram Yadwad and keeper Preston Rego were back in the lineup for the Capital City side.

Calangute Association started the match on an attacking note and took the lead in the 9th minute when Panjim Footballers defender Janio Fernandes failed to clear Akash Sanadi’s back pass. Forward Siddhant snatched the ball from the defender and shot past keeper Preston from inside the box to give his side a lead.

It was just three more minutes when Calangute Association doubled their lead through Siddhant as Panjim Footballers keeper Preston failed to collect Kouame Junior’s low cross from the right flank where Calangute’s U-20 striker made no mistake to tap the loose ball home from close to make it 2-0.

Four minutes later, Siddhant had an opportunity to complete his hat-trick when he made a 1-2-1 passing with Kouame who made a brilliant through pass to the forward. However, the U-20 lad could not make the most after making a darting run from the halfway mark. A few minutes later, Kouame had a chance to further extend their lead when Siddhant nicely curled the ball to the Ivorian striker in the box, but the forward saw his powerful strike timely blocked by Panjim defender Janio.

Panjim Footballers who were completed outclassed by the opponents took 34 minutes to come with their first shot on target as Vallmiky Miranda tried his luck after covering some ground, but Calangute Association keeper Paramveer Singh made an easy collection. They once again came with a swift attack in the 40th minute as this time, Lloyd went for a glory from the top of the box but his curling goal bound strike was blocked by Calangute custodian, which was later cleared by their defender Krishnanath for a corner.

After making some attacks, the Capital City side finally reduced the margin in the 43rd minute as Krishan found Lloyd with a short pass at the top of the box who cut past a defender to enter the box and clinically finished the ball at the far post making it 2-1 for Panjim at the half-time.

Panjim regrouped at the break and came out stronger in the second half. They managed to level back within three minutes after the resumption of play as Pandurang Gauns’ powerful strike from the edge of the box gave no chance to Calangute’s diving keeper Paramveer making it 2-2.

However, it was a span of just a few more minutes when the Beachside once again surged ahead in the 57th minute as Siddhant, who made a darting run in the box made a cut-back pass to Siddharth Kundaikar. The unmarked midfielder brilliantly curled the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-2 for his side.

Panjim Footballers also had an opportunity to once again make it all square at the hour mark when Lloyd made a swift run in the box and found substitute Joyson Gauncar in the box, but the midfielder’s goalbound tap hit Calangute Association defender before rebounding off the top corner. Whereas Calangute’s Siddhant wasted another chance to complete his hat-trick in the 66th minute as Daryl’s fine low cross was nicely collected by the U-20 forward but his shot was brilliantly blocked by Panjim’s onrushing keeper Preston.

At the other end, Calangute were reduced to 10 men in the 77th minute as their midfielder who was cautioned in the 58th minute for the first time in the match, made a reckless tackle on Panjim’s Joyson. Referee Prasad quickly showed him the second yellow card of the evening followed by a red card. However, the Capital City side could not take the advantage of an opponents’ man down as the Calangute backline stood tall to keep every danger at the bay.

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