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Goan FC toil to pull off slim lead over Calangute



Goan FC registered a hard-fought 2-1 win over Calangute Association in the Goa Professional League match played at Duler Stadium on Friday. Lalawmpuia scored the brace for the Junior Gaurs in the first half, while, substitute Jason Lucas reduced the margin for Calangute in the second session.

This win helped Goan to climb to the 2nd place with 36 points from 15 matches, while Calangute are struggling at 11th position with just 13 points from 19 outings.

Liston Colaco and Princeton Rebello were back in the starting XI for the Junior Gaurs after missing out in the last match against Velsao SCC where they were held to a goalless draw. Kapil Hoble and Nestor Dias also made the start for the Goans coach Clifford Miranda. Whereas, Calangute coach Agostinho Dias fielded both his foreign recruits Sidath Ndiaye and Abdoul Fall after a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Dempo SC in the previous round match. The Beachside had lost 2-5 to the ISL Development side in their previous meet.

It was just three minutes on the match clock when Goans opened their tally as Liston’s curling freekick was brilliantly headed in the net by forward Lalawmpuia from inside the box to put his side into the lead.

A moment before this, Calangute had a chance to stun the opponents as Dominic Fernandes found his teammate Ndiaye with a short pass in the box but the midfielder saw his goalbound shot cleared by Goan defender Lalhmangaihsanga with a header.

A few minutes later, Lalhmangaihsanga wasted an easy chance to double the lead for the Gaurs as his header off Liston’s perfect corner missed the target narrowly from the goalmouth.

However, in the 32nd minute, Calangute defender Runal Shirodkar brought down Kapil in the box who was in the commanding position to inflate the lead for his side after getting on the defence-splitting through pass from Kingslee Fernandes where Lalawmpuia made no mistake from the spot to make it 2-0 for the Junior Gaurs.

The Beachside regrouped at the halftime and came out stronger in the second session as they took just four minutes to reduce the margin. Skipper Dominic made a darting run on the right flank and crossed it to well-placed Jaison Lucas in the box whose shot hit the ground before crashing it into the back of the nylons, making it 1-2 for Calangute.

A few minutes later, Lalawmpuia had a chance to complete his hat-trick and also restore the two-goal lead when Princeton set up him with a curling freekick but the forward failed to connect with just Calangute keeper Sanij Bugde to beat.

Goans had three more chances in the next 25 minutes as first, Liston sent a long freekick to Meldon D’Silva in the box but the defender saw his header easily collected by Calangute custodian Sanij. The very next minute, keeper Sanij came with an excellent save as this time he denied Princeton’s powerful shot from the top of the box. A minute later, Liston made a swift run and found Lalawmpuia with layoff but the forward once again missed the chance to complete his hattrick as he failed to keep his shot on target from 6-yards with Goan Calangute keeper Sanij completely out of position.

Calangute striker Abdoul had a chance to level the terms when substitute Dalesh Pednekar found him with a curler from the right flank but the Senegalese striker failed to keep his header on target from the point blank range.

A few minutes before this, Kapil tried his luck from the distance with a sparkling shot but Calangute keeper Sanij once again came with brilliant save to push his goalbound efforts for a corner.

The match was fired up in the dying minutes when Calangute skipper Dominic threw the ball on Lalawmpuia who in return threw it on his face where referee Pandurang Korgaonkar booked both the players, while a few minutes later, Calangute manager Uday Lingudkar was sent off for dissent.

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