MAPUSA: Two brilliant saves by Sporting keeper Dietmart Fernandes in the penalty shootout enabled Sporting Clube de Goa juniors claim the GFA’s Taca U-20 Soccer Cup with a 4-2 win via tie-breaker over Dempo juniors, at Poriat grounds, on Thursday. The scores were tied 1-1 at full time.
Sporting played with great consistency throughout the tournament after taking the top berth in the North Zone with 13 points.
Sporting coach Severino Fernandes fully knew that Dempo against whom they were locked in a 1-1 draw, in their first phase should not being taken lightly, as they had galaxy of star players in Brian Mascarenhas and Romeo Fernandes who have been short-listed for the India U-22 squad and a couple of players to the ranks of Shallum Pires and Mandar Rao Dessai who have played in the professional league for Dempo.
After much probing, Sporting’s Pritam Ningthoujam after controlling a square pass from Nickson moved dangerously inside the penalty box and finished with at neat placement, in the 23rd minute of play.
Hardly had the cheers died down in the Sporting camp and Dempo got the equaliser through Clencio Pinto, from a neat built-up move from his team mate Brian Mascarenhas and Romeo Fernandes, to send his coach Mathew D’Costa and supporters into raptures.
A minute before the breather, it was a brave save from Dempo keeper Agnelo D’Souza, who denied Pritam from netting his brace.
On resumption of play, Sporting were all around the Dempo territory, with Xavier Dias and Pritam keeping the Dempo defence, patrolled by Shallum Pires and Jos Vaz, on their toes.
Also a couple of attempts by Xavier Dias, Alber Gonsalves and Rowllin Borges, were collected by Dempo keeper Agnelo D’Souza.
At the other end, Brian Mascarenhas, Romeo Fernandes and Mandar Dessai came coppers in front of the Sporting goal.
Dempo too had their opportunities but their strikers too were shy in front of the Sporting goal.
With the match finally ending in a 1-1 draw, the tie-breaker was applied where for Sporting side Rowllin Borges, Pritam Ningthoujam and Alber Gonsalves scored on target, while for Dempo only Romeo Fernandes scored.
Due to sad demise of Mr Matanhy Saldanha (Tourism Minister) the official prize distribution was kept for a later date.