Brian Mascarenhas scored the all important goal for the Greens…

Salgaocar FC edged out FC Goa as the Vasco based club registered a hard fought 1-0 win in the 1st AWES Cup 2017 match played in front of a packed Duler Stadium earlier today.  

Salgaocar had a great preseason as they were unbeaten in the last five matches. Their recent victory was against FC Bardez Goa in the Charity Cup match. While FC Goa had won two out of their last three matches. They had recently hammered Dempo SC in their last friendly match.

Salgaocar coach Norberto Gonsalves made three changes to his side which won the Charity Cup last Sunday as Sanson Pereira, Brian Mascarenhas and Umesh Harijan replaced Assumption Soares, Denil Rebello and Lalit Tariad in the starting XI. While, FC Goa’s coach Derrick Pereira named Liston Colaco, Hayden Fernandes and Yasir Mohammed in his playing XI. Amey Ranawade who was signed in the ISL draft missed out due to a hamstring injury. 

The match started with attacking football from both the ends, however, Salgaocar were first to create chances. Brian went for glory from a long range free-kick but the Guars keeper Iprotip Das pushed it away for a corner. Two minutes later they had another chance to open their tally but Lenny Pereira could not shoot from close, off Rosario Mendes’ cross from the right.

The Guars were also successful in breaking Salgaocar’s defence when Hayden cut past two defenders and tried his luck from distance, only to see it miss by few inches. Later, Yasir also showed great footwork before curling the ball to Jason Barbosa in the box, but the FC Goa lad failed to connect it with just the keeper to beat. 

Later part of the first session witnessed more attacking football from the Vasco based club, however, the FC Goa defenders did not allow Salgoacar’s lone frontman Agnelo Colaco to break their defence line as both the teams entered the dressing room at 0-0.

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Salgaocar just took five minutes after the resumption of play to go into a lead when Brian’s 30-yard free-kick crashed into the goal outreaching the FC Goa keeper’s stretched hands making it 1-0 for the Vasco based club.

Trailing by a goal, FC Goa quickly regrouped and marched on the opponents however their tricky midfielder Kingslee Fernandes shot in the hands of Salgaocar keeper Abhijit Das instead of directing the shot in the goal.

A few minutes later, Salgaocar were unlucky not to double their lead as Agnelo’s powerful free-kick missed the target narrowly. While FC Goa had another chance to equalise but this time Saviour Gama’s shot missed the target by a whisker. 

In the last few minutes,  Salgaocar coach Gonsalves brought in Clencio Pinto replacing  Harmanjot Singh, and the lad’s first touch could have doubled their lead but his shot was blocked by Franzil Negredo with keeper Das completely beaten. A minute later, Agnelo was unlucky again as his curling free-kick was acrobatically pushed away for a corner at the last moment by keeper Das.

At the other end, FC Goa’s frontmen tried hard to break Salgoacar’s  backline but the defenders cleared every danger away to keep their side safe from any damage.

Salgaoacar coach Gonsalves was happy after defeating the development side of the Goan ISL club as he said, “This win will boost us for the next match. I am happy because our plan worked.”