A second half strike from Nilesh Velip helped Cuncolim Union overcome CRC Chinchinim 1-0 and enter the semifinals of McDowell’s No 1 Yaari Premiere Cup football tournament at Cuncolim grounds on Saturday.
The match-winning goal for Cuncolim Union came off in the 38th minute when their attacking medio Rosario Carvalho sent a curling cross right into the six yard box, where Nilesh Velip leaped high and headed the ball to the far end of the rival nets.
The first half ended without any goal with both the teams missing on some easy chances. In the second session, Cuncolim Union made the most of the only opportunity that came their way.
Both the teams matched each other well in all the departments of the game and there was hardly anything that could separate the two in terms of performance.
Both teams had a strong defence and a good half line too, but the only problem that they faced was to guide the ball into the nets.
While Raghuvir Gaoncar, Krishna Shirodkar and Mahesh Gaoncar managed the Cuncolim defence well, their midfield too was seen working hard to spray passes wherein Clifton Fernandes, Velington D’Souza and Edney Fernandes strived hard.
Cuncolim Union goalkeeper Sheikh Sahil also demonstrated lot of confidence under the bar and brought out some smart saves in the second session.
Chinchinim keeper Raison D’Souza, who prevented his citadel from crumbling in the first session, could not do so when Nilesh Velip headed hard to find the mark. Chinchinim strikers like Myron Costa and Joel Fernandes tried some long rangers in an attempt to restore parity but in vain.
Chinchinim defenders Babu Naik and Aaron Antao did a lot of overlapping to hold the midfield and the strikers but whatever moves that were made were nipped in the bud by Cuncolim defence.
In the last five minutes of play, CRC Chinchinim midfielders Nickson Rebello and Schaney Souza worked in tandem, but were well-blocked by Cuncolim Union defence before they could do any damage.
Cuncolim Union will next meet United Club of Palolem in the semifinals scheduled on August 14.