Salgaocar blank VIVA Chennai to book their place in AWES Cup semis
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
Agnelo Colaco scored a brace in the Greens victory...
With this win, Salgaocar topped the group with two wins out of two and made it to the semi-finals where they will face the group D winners on 15th September. The decider match of Group D will be played between Sporting Clube de Goa and Gokulam FC on 12th September.
It was a must-win match for Chennai side with at least two goals margin as they had lost 2-1 to FC Goa in their last match. While a draw was enough for the Greens to make it to the semi-finals as they had defeated FC Goa 1-0 in their first match.
Salgaocar coach Norberto Gonsalves chose to go with the same XI which earned him full points in the last match. At the other hand, Chennai coach C.M. Ranjit made two changes to his side as Sherin Stephen replaced Manikandan in between the sticks, while, Suvneer Singh made way for Aneesh P in the starting XI.
The match was just eight minutes young when Salgaocar surged ahead through Gilbert Oliveira. The attacking midfielder’s strike from the edge of the box directly finished in the goal after getting hold of the short pass from Umesh Harijan.
The next 20 minutes witnessed dull play from both the sides. However, Salgaocar made a few attacks in between to keep their domination over the opponents but none of the moves lasted for a long as Chennai defenders cleared every danger.
A minute before the half hour mark, Chennai came close to scoring when Anoop VC found Netto Benny with a cut back pass from the box, but the midfielder saw his long ranger missed the target narrowly.
At the other end, Salgaocar almost doubled their lead when Brian Mascarenhas tried to find Agnelo Colaco with a cross in the box but Chennai keeper Sherin collected it before the lone strike could reach to it. However, a very next minute, Agnelo doubled Salgaocar’s lead. This time Chennai keeper Sherin was helpless to stop Agnelo’s 30-yard screamer as he was standing unmoved watching the ball going in.
The second session witnessed a lazy football from both the ends as first 15 minutes were without any serious attacks from both the teams.
A minute before the hour mark, Chennai came close to reduce the margin but Salgaocar keeper Abhijit Das nicely paired Netto’s shot for a corner. A few minutes later, they had another chance to score when Netto once again shot on the goal but keeper Das blocked it, however, the ball slipped off his hands giving an advantage to opponent players in the box but they failed to get any fruitful from the move as the defenders cleared it on time.
With just 10 minutes remaining on the match clock, Salgaocar scored another goal through Agnelo. The front man once again tried his luck from the distance to see it crash into the back of the nylons making it 3-0 for the Greens.
Salgaocar had two more chances in the last few minutes of the match but first, Brian’s last touch was intercepted in the box after he cut past two defenders to enter the box. Later, Clencio saw his weak shot easily blocked by a defender.
Published: Mon Sep 11, 2017 09:40 AM IST