Newly promoted Velsao Sports and Cultural Club proved that old wine in a new bottle does not always have to necessarily taste good as they made reigning champions Sporting Clube de Goa fight for their first three points in the inaugural match of Goa Football Association’s (GFA) Professional League at Duler stadium on Wednesday.
Sporting Clube scored an odd goal in three victory over the team from the South which played with the never give up spirit for a major part of ninety minutes.
Sporting went into the breather with a one goal lead, scored by Peter Carvalho in the sixth minute of the game.
Sporting drew the first blood as a curling corner by Alesh Sawant was cleared by a Velsao defender and the ball travelled to Glan Martins. The last named stiff grounder hit the leg of his teammate Peter Carvalho and the ball rolled into the goal, 1-0.
Play was then restricted to midfield for the next twenty minutes.
However, Velsao missed a glorious opportunity to net their equaliser in the 24th minute. Sporting’s Clive Miranda pushed Joseph Pereira just inside the penalty box, where referee Prasad Surlakar awarded a penalty. However, Michael Silva saw his shot brush the hands of keeper Melroy and then hit the post.
As the match progressed, a 30-yard strike by Velsao’s Jesloy Moniz was pushed for a corner by Sporting keeper Melroy Fernandes. This happened ten minutes after Velsao squandered the spot kick.
At the other end, a long ranger by Sporting’s Victorino zoomed over the post.
In the 43rd minute, Velsao were once again unlucky as a scorching right footer from inside the penalty box by Myron Borges was brilliantly paired to safety by keeper Melroy.
Velsao scored their equaliser when the second half was two minutes old.
A hot-blooded shot by Joseph Pereira from inside the penalty box was blocked by keeper Melroy and the ball fell at the feet of Flan Gomes who slammed it into the goal. The Sporting lads made a strong plea for an offside. However, it was turned down by the referee, 1-1.
Stung by the equaliser Sporting went all out and had two close chances to take the lead.
First, in the 55th minute, Alesh Sawant’s half volley was fisted for a corner by keeper Suresh Lamani and minutes later the Velsao goalkeeper was once again in action as he flung to his right to punch the ball to safety, off a stinging shot by Glan Martins.
Finally, in the 80th minute, a curling corner by Alesh Sawant at the far post was brilliantly headed into the goal by Sporting’s Marcus Mascarenhas, who had come from the bench, 2-1.