Despite a dominant display in the first half, the Red Machines went down in the second.
Mayur Shelkar scored in the second half as Calangute Association registered a hard-fought 1-0 win over Churchill Brothers in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler stadium earlier in the day.
Churchill coach, Alfred Fernandes, had completely re-build the squad as most of their former players from last season were either signed by ISL clubs or by other I-league clubs. Where as, Calangute also had changed half of their squad. The Beachsiders had a good pre-season as they won most of the friendlies in the last month.
Calangute coach, Alex Alvares, named newly signed foreigner Kouame Joseph in the starting XI. While Leslee Brito and Omkar Satelkar also found a place in Calangute’s starting XI. Churchill started with veteran defender Rahul Kumar along them with newly signed Terence Lobo, while Suraj was the only player in the squad who had played in the last season.
After a tough midfield tussle in the first few minutes, it was Churchill who came out on top with a couple of attacks within first ten minutes trying to breach the Beachsiders defence. First, Sevlon Cardozo tried to find striker, Mannas Sarkar, in the box with a cross from left but the Calangute ‘keeper, Jason D’Mello nicked it away and collected it on time. A minute later, the same Churchill players were involved in a similar move from the last but this time Calangute’s, Mayur came to the rescue of his side with a timely clearance in the box.
The Red Machines once again came close to scoring when Alber Gonsalves made swift run cutting past few defender in his run and sent a powerful left-footer on the goal but Calangute shot-stopper Jason dived to his limit and pushed it away for a corner.
With just 26 minutes on the clock, Calangute’s injured Charles Cardoz made way for Omkar More and with his coming in, the beachside club became more potent on the left wing but Churchill’s defenders cleared every danger to keep their side safe.
Though there was not even a single attack from Calangute in the first session, they came outon top with an all attacking display in the second half as within just five minutes Calangute’s Domnic tried his luck from distance but Churchill keeper Ricardo Cardozo made an excellent save to keep the scoreline as it is.
A few minutes later, Calangute once again came close to scoring when Bersal Viegas’ corner found Omkar in the box but his header just went wide. While, a minute later, Calangute’s Myron Fernandes tried to find Omkar in the box but Rahul Kumar cleared it before the opponents could reach it.
At the hour mark, finally, Calangute were successful in breaking the deadlock through Mayur. The defender’s smart tap from inside the box found the net off Joston Pereira’s corner from the right and sent the entire home support in raptures.
Ten minutes later, the Beachsiders had another opportunity to cement their lead when Churchill’s last line failed to clear Joston’s low cross in the box as the ball rolled to unmarked Myron but the winger shot wide instead of directing in the goal.
The Red Machines had almost equalised in the added time of the match when Rohan Adnaik’s free-kick was flicked to Kartik G. In front of the empty goal, who just headed home and went on celebrating late equaliser but failed to beat the offside trap as the linesman Raja Pir raised the flag to cancel the same.