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Aldrich strikes for Navelim Villagers

BENAULIM: A seventh-minute strike in the first half by Aldrich Coelho was enough for Navelim Villagers Union to register a solitary goal win against Varca SC and enter the quarterfinals of 29th Super Soccer played at St John, the Baptist grounds, Benaulim on Wednesday.

The all-important goal for Navelim Villagers Union came off when their attacking medio Prestley Gomes dodged two Varca defenders on the left flank, and on entering the box unleashed a powerful shot that deflected off a rival defender and fell at the feet of Aldrich Coelho, who followed the ball and banged it to the far corner of rival nets, giving no chance at all to the keeper Mohammad Sheikh.

Dishing out an excellent brand of soccer, Navelim Villagers Union controlled the first half proceedings well and could have been at least three goals up had it not been for some easy misses from the very shadow of the rival goal.

Navelim Union midfield comprising Darren Pexito and company gave a very good account of themselves, exchanging quick passes and sending good crosses. If only the strikers had been little more imaginative.

After missing three sure chances, Navelim Villagers could have buttressed the lead just a few minutes before the lemon break but a well-taken shot from Aldrich Coelho flew over the bar followed by his upfront co-partner Presley Gomes, who also saw his curling shot just missing the mark by a whisker. In the second session, Varca SC looked a transformed side as they began attacking time and often and kept the Navelim Villagers guessing all the while.

Tennyson Rosa made some dashing moves along with Nash Fernandes and Elvis Gomes, but they could not beat the Navelim Union defence who stood like a rock with able support from Covan Lawrence and Elvis Gomes.

As Varca SC kept on pressing hard, the defence of Navelim Union seemed to be cracking under pressure. But thanks to fine goalkeeping by Paul Fernades, Navelim Villagers could keep their slate clean.

The last few minutes of play saw Varca SC going all out for the kill to try and level the score but their shots were off the target.

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