A goal each in either half by Denson Fernandes and Samson Fernandes helped Ambelim SC down Don Bosco Oratory, Fatorda 2-0 in the final and emerge champions of 22nd Our Lady of Merces Soccer, at church grounds, Chinchinim on Thursday.
Ambelim SC took the lead as early as the 4th minute when Denson Fernandes, after receiving a neat cross from the left flank, sent an angular effort that completely beat DBO Fatorda keeper Swizel Pereira.
Though both the teams started well — attacking each other’s citadel in an attempt to find the mark – it was Ambelim SC who capitalised on the defensive lapse and found the mark quite early.
Though the defence of both the teams displayed great courage and conviction to keep the strikers of either side at bay, the two lapses committed by DBO Fatorda’s back-four cost them dearly.
Looking confident in the opening minutes, Ambelim SC created a good move in the upfront as Ralf Fernandes dodged his way inside the rival box but before he could aim to shoot into the goal, he was tackled by DBO Fatorda’s most reliable defender Roque Borges.
Soon came the counter move at the other end when Velton ran down the right flank and sent a smart cross, but much to the disappointment of everyone none of the DBO Fatorda players were handy to push the ball in.
Thereafter, both the teams accelerated the pace of the match, weaving some brilliant moves which however did not materialise into goals. DBO Fatorda had their share of chances in the first session, but they struggle to find the mark.
Ryan Pinto, Desmond Fernandes and Samson Fernandes impressed a great deal with their positional play for Ambelim SC even as DBO Fatorda’s Roque Borges looked outstanding in the defence while their midfield was well managed by Alfred Noronha and Edgar Noronha.
The goalkeepers at either end – Ambelim SC’s Benny Silva and Swizel Pereira of DBO Fatorda — proved to be safe pair of hands.
Ambelim SC’s Samson Fernandes made the issue safe for his team in the 49th minute of the second session when he bulged the nets from close distance.
Former India international footballer and Dempo SC star Sucorro Coutinho was the chief guest and gave away the prizes in the presence of guest of honour Fr Jose Antonio Costa, Parish Priest of Chinchinim and other dignitaries.
Winners Ambelim SC were awarded cash prize of Rs 40,000 while the runners-up Don Bosco Oratory, Fatorda had to be satisfied with cash prize of Rs 35,000.
The following individual prizes were awarded: Best Disciplined Team: Goan Warriors FC; Best Losing Team: CDJ Ribandar; First Goal: Ralf Fernandes (Ambelim SC); Best Goalkeeper: Joseph Monteiro (Sporting Club of Davorlim); Best Half: Danston Fernandes (Navelim SC); Best Forward: Daulat Dessai (Cuncolim Union); Promising Player: Chadel Fernandes (Sarzora SC) and Best Defender: Videsh Sawant (St Anthony’s SC, Marna-Siolim).