There were five different scorers in the Flaming Oranje’s rout…

Sporting Clube de Goa put up a brilliant performance to stay alive in the Durand Cup as they thrashed Minerva Academy FC 5 – 0 in their last group stage match at Ambedkar Stadium earlier today. Glan Martins (14’) opened the scoring for Sporting while Cajetan Fernandes (19’), George D’Souza (73’), Alber Gonsalves (90’+3) and Marcus Mascarenhas (90’+6) also got on the score sheet for the Goan side.

Sporting produced yet another clinical first half performance with some quick attacking football. Gaffer Mateus Costa made two changes to the previous side that beat Gangtok Himalayan Sports Club. Alber Gonsalves came in place of Victorino Fernandes while George D’Souza came in place of Ponif Vaz who was down with fever. Costa adopted the 4-2-3-1 formation with Marcus Mascarenhas leading the attack.

Sporting started off well as Ganesh Thakur and Marcus made some good moves early in the match. The show stopper was Glan Martins 14th minute thunderbolt from about 22 yards . Alber Gonsalves sighted Martins with some room to shoot and sent in a low cross. Martins charged forward and struck it perfectly to land it in the top right corner of the net. Soon in the 19th minute Cajetan Fernandes doubled the lead with a brilliant free-kick from the edge of the box placing it well at the corner giving the Minerva keeper no chance to react. After this Minerva tried to get back into the game as Manandeep Singh and Jaison Vales created some good moves among themselves but failed to break down the Sporting defense. The Sporting keeper Ravi Kumar had an exceptional day between the sticks. The score stayed 2 – 0 at halftime.

The second half saw both sides going for goal right from the kick-off. Minerva players gave their best but couldn’t get past the experienced back four of Sporting. In the 73rd minute Sporting won a free-kick close to the halfway line, George D’Souza took a shot at goal and managed to beat the keeper making it 3 – 0 in favour of Sporting. Minerva forward Singh tried hard but couldn’t produce a match changing performance. Sporting added two more in injury time when Alber managed to head in a George’s free-kick while Quan Gomes set up Marcus with a brilliant cross making it 5 – 0 in favour of Sporting.

With this win the Flaming Oranje climb to 2nd position in Group A with 7 points and a healthy goal difference of +7 but will have to wait for a favourable result (i.e. Draw) in the match between Army Green & Gangtok Himalayan which will be held tomorroow to confirm their semi-final breath.

(Picture and Report Courtesy: Sporting Media).