Sporting Goa trounce Panjim Footballers to consolidate top spot in GPL
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
Cajetan Fernandes played an influential role in the Flaming Oranje’s victory.
Sporting Clube de Goa continued their fine form in the league as they trounced Panjim Footballers 4-1 in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium earlier today.
Today’s win helped them to make strong their position at the top with 30 points from 11 matches, while Panjim has nine points from 10 matches.
Panjim had stunned the high-flying Guardian Angels SC as they ease past the Curchorem based club by two goals in their last match, whereas, Sporting were unbeaten in the league. Their recent win was against Salgaocar FC in the previous round match.
Sporting gaffer Mateus Costa made only one change to his side as Ganesh Thakur made the comeback, replacing Marcus Mascarenhas in the midfield, while Panjim coach Savio Vaz introduced newly signed Nigerian midfielder Alphonse Shako in the starting XI, while he also brought in defender Devendra Pednekar and midfielder Sachidanand Satelkar to boost up their side.
It was just four minutes on the clock when Sporting opened their account when Nigerian striker Abiola Afuwape smartly headed in off Cajetan Fernandes’ corner to make it 1-0 for the Flaming Orange.
A few minutes later, Cajetan saw his curling free-kick from just outside the box rebound off the crossbar. However, in the 17th Minutes, Sporting doubled their tally through Victorino Fernandes who tapped in from goalmouth after receiving a perfect through pass from Ganesh. Cajetan was also involved in the even as the midfielder initiated with a superb through pass to Ganesh from the halfway line.
In the second quarter of the session, Victorino should have completed his hat-trick but on both the occasions he failed to beat Panjim keeper Gurpreet Singh in a one-on-one situation.
A few minutes before these, Panjim also came close to scoring when Clifton Fernandes found himself with an empty goal but the medio shot on goalpost instead of directing it into the goal.
Sporting further increased their lead with just seven minutes in the second half as this time Abiola’s brilliant chip shot over the onrushing keeper Gurpreet finished in the box making it 3-0 for Sporting.
At the other end, Panjim once again came close to scoring in the 74th minutes when Mahesh Kumar drilled a powerful shot from inside the box but Sporting keeper Melroy Fernandes made a fine save to keep the clean sheet.
However, four minutes later, Keeper Melroy was completely helpless when substitute Snedden Rodrigues found Akeraj Martins with a pass who made no mistake to beat the keeper off his last touch.
Sporting took just a minute to restore the three-goal lead as Cajetan’s powerful strike from the spot finished in the net after Panjim defender Schubert D’Costa handled the ball inside the box to give away the penalty kick to the rivals.
In the last minutes of the match, Sporting keeper Melroy came with a breathtaking save as he nicely fisted Chandan Gawas’s strong header over the crossbar, off Snedden’s corner.
Published: Sat Feb 03, 2018 07:58 PM IST