Rawanfond: Nim Bhutia’s 33rd minute first half strike was enough for Corps of Signals to register a hard fought solitary goal win over Calangute Association in the Goa Football Association Professional League match played at 3MTR Signals grounds,Rawanfond,Navelim on Monday.
The all important goal in favour of Corps of Signals was a result of a flag kick taken by striker Vishnu Cheetri who floated the ball where Bhutia was perched and the last named lost no time in sending the ball to the far corner of Calangute Association nets to beat keeper Sanij Bugde.
Incidentally, it was Bhutia who had made a great pass to Vishnu ,just before the corner was conceded and Vishnu chipped the ball towards the Calangute Association goal but the Calangute keeper managed to prevent the ball from entering the nets by tipping the ball over the bar for a corner through which Bhutia scored.
Both the teams seemed to be evenly matched and though Signals had an edge in the first session, Calangute Association enjoyed the lions share in the second .But, a goal eluded the team till the very end of the match, despite having great chances.
Corps of Signals could have buttressed their lead in the 38th minute when Nim worked his way down the flank and passed the ball to Nukul Singh who in turn fed Ankit Singh who simply failed to find the mark from close.
In a counter move, in the 45th minute, Calangute Association almost got the leveler but to the chagrin of everyone,medio Alesh Sawant sent the ball wide off the mark from the 18 yard box.
The second session initially began well for Corps of Signals and striker Vishnu had a glorious chance to swell the lead in the 50th
minute but the forward shot the ball off target with the rival keeper at his mercy.
Calangute Association retaliated quickly within the next three minutes which saw Alesh Sawant laying a good pass to medio Vineet Bugde whose good effort was saved by Corps of Signals keeper Binu Purushothaman who had a very good day under the bar.
Desperate to restore parity, Calangute Association used all the ammunition that was at their disposal ,firing constantly but none of the shots entered the nets, either due to fine goal keeping by the Signals keeper or the misfiring by the Calangute strikers even from close distance.
Calangute Association went on pressing hard and controlled the proceedings with pace and positional play, which created panic in the rank and file of
Signals defensive line. Somehow, they managed to survive the torrid moves that were initiated by their rivals.
Alesh Sawant, Dalesh Pednekar and substitute Chandan Govekar could have easily restored parity for Calangute Association but every time they came in possession of the ball, they were unable to guide the ball into the rival nets, either sending the ball over the bar or off the mark.
The last fifteen minutes of play saw Corps of Signals team falling back in full strength and
with timely clearances, they were able to prevent their citadel from crumbling. With this win, Signals have now collected 11 points from 13 matches while Calangute Association is on 15 points from 13 matches.