Viraj Naik scored the only goal of the match as the Junior Panthers moved up to third in the table…

FC Bardez Goa beat champions Sporting Clube De Goa in the TACA Goa U-20 League in an intense and heated battle at the Duler Stadium earlier today.

FC Bardez U20 head coach Climax Lawrence made some changes to the squad as Santosh Pujar came back into the team. Cavin Soares was out due to injury and Sarineo Fernandes took his place.  Saviour Gama was replaced by Kirtikesh Gadekar while Royston Fernandes replaced Latesh Mandrekar.

Bizarrely the match was played without a fourth official or an ambulance on standby. Both the teams started the game on an excellent note. However, for the first half an hour play was restricted to the midfield. Sporting Clube de Goa got a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box in the 32nd minute. Myron Fernandes struck a lovely shot which went just a whisker away from the crossbar. The Flaming Oranje had the best chance of the first half in the 45th minute of the match as Myron Fernandes passed the ball to Prisco Moura, who in turn crossed to an unmarked Harshad Naik but his shot went just over. Both teams went into the breather goalless

Just a minute into the second half, Sporting came close to going one up from a corner-kick. The ball fell right at the feet of Brendon Fernandes, who chipped it over the keeper, but it came back off the post. Snedden Rodrigues latched onto the rebound but hit it straight a keeper Suresh Lamani. At the other end, FC Bardez could have scored as Anil Chawan took on Sporting defenders on the right flank and passed the ball to Ronil Azavedo who shot wide. Just before the hour mark, FC Bardez could have made it 1-0 as Ronil Azavedo crossed in the ball from the left flank to Royston Coutinho who headed it right into the hands of Sherwin Da Cunha.  The Panthers finally broke the deadlock in the 84th minute of the match as Saviour Gama’s corner-kick found an unmarked Viraj Naik who headed the ball home.  On the restart, Brandon Gomes tried a powerful shot which rattled the post and went out.

FC Bardez U-20 head coach Climax Lawrence said,”I’m very happy with the boys. We had promised that we would get third spot and we got there. I’m happy that we scored the goal. They fought till the last minute and they proved it to me.”

With this win FC Bardez move up to 3rd spot with 15 points while Sporting have already been crowned champions and now have 19 points from eight games.

Report and Photo Courtesy: FC Bardez Media