Salgaocar down Calangute to earn first three points in GPL
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
Nigerian striker Joel Sunday and U-20 star Ribhav Sardessai netted one each for the Green Brigade.
Salgaocar FC came from a goal down to register a first win as they squeezed past Calangute Association 2-1 in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium earlier today.
Though Calangute were unbeaten in the league, they had drawn against Vasco SC and FC Goa in last two matches making it loss of four points, whereas defending champions Salgaocar were struggling in the league as they were without a win in the last four matches, their best result so far was against Panjim Footballers in the opening match were they earned a point.
Salgaocar coach Norbert Gonsalves made three changes to his side as U-20 Ribhav Sardessai and goalkeeper Abijit Das were back in the lineup, while U-20 striker Shayne Rodrigues made his GPL debut for the Green Brigade.
On the other hand, Calangute missed the services of their start attacking midfielder Josely Dias who was replaced by Omkar More, while Blake Haldankar replaced another injured forward Aniket Mandrekar.
The match started with an end-to-end affair as both the side cancelled each other on many occasions. Calangute broke the Salgaocar defence in the 11th minutes when Bonny Niasso made a long-distance cross in the box to find onrushing striker Leslee Britto but Salgaocar keeper Das came off his line to collect the same.
A very next minute, Calangute’s Domnic Fernandes saw his powerful long ranger missed the target by few inches. At the other end, the Green Brigade came up with series of attacks on the opponents where first, Shayne sent a cross to Umesh Harijan in the box but his weak header was easily collected by Calangute keeper Jason D’Mello. A few minutes later, Brian Mascarenhas’ free-kick was brilliantly blocked by Calangute custodian for safety.
Just after these, Brian was replaced by Gilbert Oliviera as the winger was injured and it could have been a goal for the substitute winger off his first touch when Ribhav made an excellent through pass to Gilbert but his curling shot just went over the crossbar with keeper Jason out of position. A minute later, Calangute’s Leslee shot wide from 10-yards off Joston Pereira’s short pass in the box.
After wasting so many, Calangute finally opened their account in the 39th minutes when Omkar stretched to his limit to tap in from close to connect to Blake’s deflected shot, making it 1-0 for Calangute at the halftime.
It was just a minute in the second half when Salgaocar scored the equaliser through Joel Sunday as he brilliantly headed between opponent defenders and the keeper Jason off Mackroy Peixote corner, making it all square for his side.
A few minutes later, Sunday had an opportunity to put his side into the lead when he made a swift run after receiving a fine pass from Umesh but the striker failed to keep his shot on target from inside the box.
A very next minute, Omkar was in the commanding position to once again take Calangute into the lead but the forward shot wide from close.
At the other end, Salgaocar found the winner in the 72nd minutes when Sunday made a great footwork before making a short pass to Ribhav whose low shot entered the far post making it 2-1 for the Green Brigade.
Calangute tried hard to get back into the match but a strong defending and brilliant goalkeeping helped the defending champions to secure their first win of the season.
Published: Thu Nov 16, 2017 09:41 PM IST