Duler: Sporting Clube de Goa entered the final of the Goa Police Cup 2019 as they eased past Churchill Brothers SC by an easy 2-0 margin in the semi-finals, played at Duler Stadium, here on Monday. Both the goals were scored in the first session as Philip Odogwu and Marcus Mascarenhas scored for the defending champions.
Sporting had few changes to their side as the foreigner Philip made the start, while their coach Francisco Vaz also gave chance to Cajetan Fernandes in the starting eleven. On the other hand, Churchill’s in-form striker Willis Plaza missed the game as he was suspended due to a red card in the quarter-finals match against Salgaocar FC. Churchill’s Nigerian coach Edward Ansah fielded their Spanish midfielder Joaquin Barbero in the playing eleven.
The Flaming Orange started the match on attacking note and took just seven minutes to surge ahead as fine cross by Marcus was brilliantly headed in by Philip from close to put his side ahead. A few minutes later, Churchill had the best chance to level back when Ganesh Thakur found Israil Gurun in the box with a long cross but the skipper failed to keep his strike on target as the ball went out for a goal kick.
Sporting came with another fierce attack in the 16th minute, as this time George D’Souza went for glory from the distance but his sparkling shot was flicked over the crossbar by Churchill keeper Kunzang Bhutia on time.
At the other end, Churchill had another opportunity to make it all square when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box but skipper Gurun saw his curling strike miss the target by a whisker. Few minutes later, they once again came close to equalising as Gurun sent a perfect cross to Mauvin Borges in the box but the lad tapped wide from point-blank range.
Sporting punished them for wasting easy chances as they doubled their lead in the 36th minute when a Sachidanand Satelkar made a low cross to Cajetan who found onrushing Marcus with a beautiful lob pass where Sporting skipper found the net with a neat header to make it 2-0 for Sporting.
Sporting had an opportunity to inflate their lead just after changing the ends when Peter Carvalho’s long free-kick was smartly headed in by Marcus but Philip who was in the offside position unnecessarily tapped the ball in the net as assistant referee Deepraj Sangelkar raised the flag.
Churchill also came close to scoring in the 54th minute as Mauvin tried his luck with a long-distance shot which was blocked by Sporting custodian Akshat Hadkonkar, however, he failed to clear the danger completely but made sure that ball did not cross the goal line.
In the dying minutes of the match, Churchill had few more chance to reduce the margin, first, Spanish medio Barbero headed wide from close off Gurung’s curling free-kick. Later, Barbero set up Vinil Poojary in the box who fired a powerful shot from inside the box but the Spaniard blocked his teammate’s goal bound strike.