Cho Lepcha brace as Bardez rescue a point against Velsao in the Goa Pro League
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
Bersal Viegas scored a brace for Velsao in the first half.
Bersal Viegas scored a brace in the first session to put Velsao into the lead at half-time, while skipper Cho Lepcha scored twice in the second half to snatch a point for Bardez.
Dwayne Ticlo was the lone change to the Bardez side which held Panjim Footballers in the last match, while, Velsao coach Eban Mesquita made two changes to his side which defeated Corps of Signals in the previous round, as U-20 winger Flan Gomes and Umesh Pujar were included in the starting XI.
The match started with possession football, as both sides tried to keep the ball in the first few minutes. However, Velsao were the first to create a chance in the 9th minute, when Remedios Vaz tried to find Joseph Pereira with a low cross, but Bardez defender Luis Miranda made a timely clearance.
However, they could not manage to hold the Velsao attackers for long, as the South Goans surged ahead in the very next minute, when Flan made a brilliant pass to Bersal Viegas who covered some ground before clinically finishing the ball home from six-yards out.
The rest of the half witnessed end-to-end play, where Velsao were the potent side with better attacking potential. After some probing attacks, Velsao finally managed to double their lead in added-time, when Flan’s goalbound shot was handled by Mobin Rai just outside the box and Bersal’s curling free-kick gave no chance to Bardez keeper Royal Basumatory.
Though Velsao had a comfortable lead, they came out attacking in the second session and came close to scoring in the 50th minute, but Bardez keeper Royal came up with a diving save to deny Jesloy Moniz's powerful shot for a corner.
At the other end, Bardez U-20 winger Richard Cardoz produced an excellent cross to Cho Lepcha in the box, but his header was acrobatically pushed away for a corner by Velsao Keeper Suresh Lamani.
However, in the 64th minute, Bardez managed to pull one back, when Velsao keeper Lamani brought down Lepcha in the box to gift a penalty to the opponents. Lepcha himself stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.
Velsao had a chance to restore their two-goal lead just three minutes after conceding, as they were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area, but Bardez keeper Royal stretched to his limit to clear Bersal’s goalbound attempt.
Bardez also had an opportunity to level terms in the 70th minute, when Rungsing Muinao sent in a curling cross in the box to Lepcha, who cut it back to the onrushing Babun Das, but the midfielder’s tap-in brushed a Velsao defender before going out for a corner.
Another great chance went in vain for Bardez in the 75th minute, as skipper Lepcha’s header missed the target by a few inches, off Sandip Alay’s fine cross from the left flank.
After wasting some good opportunities, Bardez finally levelled back in the 78th minute, when Richard’s curling free-kick was tapped on target by Carl D’Souza from close, but Velsao keeper Lamani came up with a brilliant block. However, he could not stop skipper Lepcha’s tap-in from the rebound.
Published: Mon Dec 10, 2018 08:07 PM IST