Duler: The angels smiled for Guardian Angel Sports Club as they came back from a goal down to score two and leave Vasco Sports Club sulking in the Goa Football Association Professional League at Duler stadium on Friday. Guardian Angel won 2-1.
Guardian Angel and Vasco SC started with their new foreign signings and the game revolved around the two as the rest tried to fill in the blanks for a major part of ninety minutes. For Vasco, it was their new signing from Ivory Coast Lago Dogbo Bei who justified his inclusion with a goal in the 25th minute whilst Musa Bamba from Ghana brought home the cheers for Guardian Angel with the equaliser in the 42nd minute.
However, it was Benzu Clemete who left the angels on a high with the match winner in the 75th minute.
If the two foreign signings created the sparks for their teams, Aslon Oliveira was the livewire for Guardian Angel and goalkeeper Sanju Thapa for Vasco SC.
Aslon mesmerised with his dead ball strikes and his control of the midfield for Guardian Angel and Sanju stood out for the losers with his saves below the horizontal. Sanju showed quick reflexes and good anticipation.
Guardian Angel held sway during the first ten minutes of play during which time they earned two corners – both taken by Aslon and well anticipated by Vasco keeper Sanju.
Guardian Angel’s first scoring opportunity was created in the 13th minute by former Salgaocar FC player Gilbert Oliveira who on controlling the ball on top of the Vasco box flicked it in to be met by Beneston Barreto who had the mortification of seeing his effort fly over the horizontal.
As Guardian Angel appeared to be settling with their attacks, Vasco SC sprung the first surprise through Lago, who in his first chance, beat Guardian Angel goalkeeper Pratheesh Veetil after he beat the opponents off side trap with a quick run for the ball 1-0. Vasco led by a goal in the 25th minute.
The goal goaded the Guardian Angel boys to search for the equaliser. They took control of the midfield and in the 29th minute Vasco keeper Sanju made back to back saves, first blocking Benzu Clemente’s effort and later Beneston’s try from close off a free kick by Aslon Oliveira.
A few minutes later, Aslon was at it again when his floater inside the penalty box was handed in by Beneston only for Vasco keeper Sanju proving better below the Vasco horizontal.
Guardian Angel’s relentless attacks proved fruitful in the 42nd minute when their goalkeeper Pratheesh directed his goal clearance directly to Musah who ran with the ball from the centre into the Vasco box to send in a powerful angular shot past Vasco’s Sanju, 1-1.
The two teams trooped for the lemon break sharing two goals.
Vasco SC started the second session with a stumble as reliable goalkeeper Sanju had to leave the field after suffering a back injury whilst intercepting a cross by Musah which appeared travelling towards the far post.
Guardian Angel got a good look at the new Vasco keeper in the 57th minute when Gilbert’s effort hit the leg of a Vasco defender before going out of play.
However, Vasco seemed set for more trouble as this time, in the 72nd minute, they were reduced to ten men after their player Micky Vaz was sent off by referee Tejas Nagvekar for a harsh challenge on Leny Fernandes.
As the Vasco players were coming to terms of losing their player, Guardian Angel took the lead as a corner by substitute Nicholas Rodrigues was coolly nodded into goal by Benzu Clemente, 2-1.
Angel’s almost netted in their third goal but Musah Bamba shot from inside the penalty box was brilliantly blocked at the first post by substitute Vasco keeper Amit Biswas.
As the match progressed, the Angel boys pressed for more goals and they missed three sitters through Aslon, Musah and Beneston.
Vasco had a chance to level terms in extra time but Lago Bei’s strike from just outside the penalty box sailed over the crossbar. With that, sailed Vasco’s chance of sharing a cake with Guardian Angel.