MAPUSA: Sporting Clube de Goa defeated Dempo Sports Club 6-5 via tie-breaker to mark the inauguration of the Nunes & Family Super Soccer inter-village football tournament at Tembi grounds, Anjuna on Saturday.
Both the teams started on a cautious note, understanding that this was their first match of the new season.
Sporting fielded their regular young side in the absence of play maker Adil Khan and valuable foreigners like Ogba Kalu and Boubacar Keita. Dempo also fielded their second string players except for midfielder Godwin Franco and goalkeeper Tyson Caiado.
In the first half, except for some harmless long-rangers, play was most restricted to the midfield and what resulted was a goalless draw till the lemon break.
Crossing ends, Sporting introduced Pedro Gonsalves in their midfield and the lad immediately made his presence felt when his 25-yard rasping shot kissed the crossbar before travelling out of play.
However, Dempo were the ones to draw first blood through Clifton Gonsalves who scored from a goalmouth melee in the 50th minute.
Sporting were quick to respond, just three minutes later, when Dempo’s Covan Lawrence failed to judge a long ball, allowing Pandhari Chopdekar of Sporting to drop it over the advanced Dempo custodian Tyson.
In the tie-breaker, Sporting managed to get the better of their rivals.
Sporting’s technical director, Alex Alvares was satisfied with the performance of his players.
“The boys played really well, even though the ground was uneven. And mind you this is not our first set of players. I am very hopeful that this season will be good for us,” Alex said.
In the absence of Dempo head coach Armando Colaco, assistant coach Camilo Gonsalves shared his comments. “You can’t say anything about the tie-break. But overall we played well considering it’s just been four days of training so far. Such exhibition matches allow us to test players under match conditions and that is what we did,” remarked Camilo.
Meanwhile, the Nunes and Family inter-village tournament is all set to start with the matches from Sunday. In all 16 teams will be competing for top honours. The tournament’s main attraction is the prize money which is presumed to be the highest in Goan inter-village football, sponsored by Nunes and Family from Anjuna. The winners will be richer by ` 1,70,000 while runners-up will receive a cash prize of ` 1,20,000.
Saligao United will lock horns with St Anthony SC, Marna, Siolim in the inaugural match on Sunday.