Panjim hold Sporting Goa, dent title hopes
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
Dempo leads the table with 38 points.
Sporting Clube de Goa suffered a big blow in the title race as they were held to a goalless by Panjim Footballers in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium earlier today.
A point could not make any difference to Sporting’s standing as they remained on the 3rd place with 36 points from 16 matches, whereas, Panjim are on the 10th position with 15 points from 21 matches.
Sporting who had defeated Calangute Association in the last match had only one changes to their side as their gaffer Mateus Costa brought back defender Alton Vaz in the starting XI, whereas Panjim also made one change to their side following a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Dempo SC as Cyril Dias found his name in the starting XI for the Capital City side.
Panjim started the match on attacking note as they marched many times on opponent’s citadel but every time failed in the final third. At the other end, Sporting came with the first chance of the match in the 13th minutes when George D’Souza went for the glory from the 30-yard freekick but the lad’s curling shot was brilliantly pushed for a corner by Panjim custodian Sherwin Da Cunha. Two minutes later, George came with a long cross in the box but unmarked Marcus Mascarenhas who had plenty of time to chest it down and finished went for a direct header which flung sky-high from close.
A few minutes later, they had another chance when their skipper Victorino Fernandes made a swift run on the left flank and easily cut past a defender in the box but his shot was excellently blocked by Panjim keeper Sherwin. Panjim had an only chance in the session in the 36th minutes when their forward made a low cross to Deryl Costa in the box but the winger’s shot went wide.
Panjim came out stronger in the second session and made many raids on the rivals. In few of these, first, Cyril made a cross for to Vallmiky Miranda in the box but the mideo saw his strike rebound off the crossbar. Ten minutes later, Vallmiky tried his luck from the distance but his goalbound shot was nicely pushed for a corner.
Whereas, Cyril had the best chance to put his side ahead in the 66th minute when U-20 Joyson Gaunkar made brilliant through pass to him in the box but the forward shot wide from 10-yards with just keeper Melroy Fernandes to beat.
Failing to score, Sporting coach Mateus used his all three substitutions bringing in Akeraj Martins, Brandon Gomes and Alesh Sawant but the trio could not make any difference to the scoreline.
Sporting had only one opportunity in the entire session as Akeraj nicely curled the ball to skipper Victorino in the box but the striker’s header from close was brilliantly blocked by Panjim keeper Sherwin.
Sporting tried to build some pressure on the rivals in the added time but Panjim defence line cleared every to book at least a point from the match.
Published: Wed Mar 06, 2019 07:23 PM IST