Goan FC down spirited Salgaocar to reclaim top spot in GPL
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
Liston Colaco scored a brace in the Junior Gaurs' victory.
Goan Football Club moved closer to the title as they registered an entertaining 3-2 win over Salgaocar Football Club in the Goa Professional League match, organised by Goa Football Association, played at Duler Stadium, here on Saturday.
This win helped Goans to reclaim the top spot with 51poinst from 20 matches, whereas, Salgaocar lost their title hopes as they have 45 points with just a match remaining.
Goan coach Clifford Miranda almost field the same XI which earned him full points against Churchill Brothers in the last match. On the other hand, Godfray Mascarenhas was the only change in the Green Brigade's playing XI which drew with Dempo SC in the previous match. Whereas, both the sides played a high scoring 3-3 draw in their last encounter played in last November.
Goan started the match on attacking note and marched on the opponents on many occasions in the first five minutes but everytime failed in the final third. However it was Salgaocar's U-20 midfielder Ribhav Sardessai who broke Junior Gaur's defence as he easily cut past a defender at the deep right flank and curled the ball to Ronaldo Oliveira in the box but Goan keeper Shubam Dhas flung high to collect the same before the forward could do any damage.
At the other end, Goan left back Serineo Fernandes nicely curled the ball to Sweden Fernandes in the goalmouth but the striker saw his header missed the target by a few inches.
A few minutes later, Sweden sent a short cross in the box to Liston Colaco who fired a shot which was blocked by Salgaocar defender Saurabh Patil. The ball rolled to unmarked Kingslee Fernandes who quickly dribbled past a defender in the box and went for glory but his goalbound strike was brilliantly saved by Greens keeper Nora Fernandes with a diving effort.
Goans once again came close to scoring at thee half-hour mark as Kingslee brilliantly cut past two opponents at the top of the box and tried his luck but his scorching shot went just over the crossbar.
Goan custodian was also tasted again in the 35th minute as Samson Pereira's curling freekick which was entering the top corner was brilliantly tipped for a corner by Dhas. Just before the halftime whistle, Salgaocar keeper Nora cake with a breathtaking save as Hayden Fernandes' curling corner was nicely fisted over the cross by him.
On crossing over, Goans were lucky not to conseade in the very first minute of the session as Saeesh Halarnkar's sparkling shot from just inside the box rebound off the crossbar.
However, ten minutes later, Goans were lucky to find the net as Serineo made a through pass to Lalawmpuia who was completely in a offside position but assistant referee Joaquim Abranches who was out of his position to make the decision ignored the situation, taking advantage of the same the forward short past from just inside the box to make it 1-0.
Peped up by a goal, Goans doubled their lead in the 65th minute when Lalawmpuia cut past a defender and found Liston with low cross in the box where the No. 10 danced past few opponents in the box and calmly finished the ball at the first post making it 2-0.
Liston scored his second and team's third goal in the 71st minute as the forward made a short corner to Serineo who set up him just outside the box. The lad's curling shot crashed at the far post giving no chance to Salgaocar custodian Nora making it 3-0.
Down by three goals with less than 20 minutes to full time, Salgaocar gaffer Levino Pereira replaced Ribhav with Denil Rebello to make them sharpen in the attacking. And the midfielder proved his caliber within few minutes after coming in as he easily dribbled past two opponents at the top and smartly slotted the ball in the back of the nylons from 15-yards to reduce the margin for the Greens.
At the other end, Lalawmpuia made a run in the box taking Salgaocar defender Samuel Costa with him and shot on the goal from 6-yards but Salgaocar keeper Nora dived to his right to clear the danger.
The match took interested turn in the added time as Samson's well-taken corner was smartly headed in by Devendra Murgaonkar making it 3-2 for his side. In the dying minutes, the Greens tried hard to find the leveler with continues attacks but could not find the net untill the full time whistle.
Published: Sat May 04, 2019 08:52 PM IST