Football fans from the state helped the cause by attending the match in large number despite the thundering climate.
Goa Legends XI and Kerala Legends XI played out a 1-1 draw in the Legends Exhibition Football match, organized by the John Paul II Foundation for Sports Goa, played under floodlights at Duler Stadium earlier in the evening to raise funds for the Kerala Flood Relief.
It was another evening with the football legends in Goa but this time it was a match between Goa, led by Arjuna awardee and former India International captain Bramhanand Shankhwalkar, and Kerala led by Arjuna awardee and former India International skipper IM Vijayan.
Bruno Couthino was another Arjuna awardee in the Goan side, while Mahesh Gawli, Camilo Gonsalves, Nicholas Pereira, Robert Fernandes, Lector Mascarenhas, David D’Souza, Sameer Naik, Micky Fernandes and Savio Madeira were the former India internationals for the host side.
Whereas, KT Chako, Anson, KV Dhanesh, Martin Mathew, U Sharaf Ali, PB Thobias, VP Shaji, Firoz Sheriff, Vinu Jose, K Ajayan Nair, NP Pradeep and Abdul Hakkim were the former Internationals for the visitors.
It was just two minutes from the kickoff when Shankhwalkar to the host into the lead as a fine cross from Coutinho found former India International keeper who brilliantly headed in to make it 1-0 for his side. However, Kerala took just six more minutes to make it all square as Lanel Thomas found Sahbeer Ali with a cut-back where Santosh Trophy winner’s shot deflected off the Goan defender before finishing in the net.
Rest of the session belong to the host as they came close to scoring thrice in the next 25 minutes where first, Vishant Pednekar’s header off Coutinho cross was blocked by Kerala keeper Chacko, while a few minutes later he came with similar block to rescue his side as this time Robert tried his luck from the top of the box only to see it cleared by Kerala custodian.
Just before the half-time whistle, another chance went into the vain for the Goans as Alex Alvares long ranger was denied by the woodwork.
Kerala also had a chance at the start of the second session as they were awarded a freekick just outside the box but Goan substitute keeper Bharat Morje made an acrobatic effort to fist Pradeep’s goalbound shot.
A minute later, the Goan custodian was in the action again as this time he brilliantly denied Asif Saheer in a one-on-one situation. With just a few minutes left on the clock, Kerala striker Saheer wasted another chance as his shot from close went over the crossbar.