Raia : In a game of few chances, Salgaocar FC edged out Guardian Angel SC in a Round 11 clash of the Goa Professional League 2015-16 played at the Raia Sports Complex to continue in third position on the points table having accumulated 17 points, behind Sporting Clube de Goa and Churchill Brothers SC on 20 and 19 points respectively but importantly with a game in hand. By virtue of this win Salgaocar FC remain the only unbeaten side in the 10-team league.
The Greens had the first chance of the game as early as the 4th minute. Briand Mascarenhas whipped in a cross from the left, the ball headed on target by Aslon Oliveira. Johnson Fernandes under the Guardian Angel bar made a hash of the collection and dropped it at the feet of Australian Calvin Mbarga who was slow to react and missed a golden opportunity to give his side an early lead. It was then the turn of Guardian Angel to surge forward as Godfrey Silva who had a good game overall was put through by Brian Faria but he shot straight at Naveen Kumar who was making his first appearance in goal for the Greens.
In the 22nd minute Djorou Isaac was put through on goal and his crack saw Naveen yet again pull off a smart reflex save under the Salgaocar bar. At the other end enough pressure on Aslon Oliveira just before letting fly ensure he was unable to keep his shot on target after being set up but Clifton Dias with a smart through ball. 10 minutes later, Salgaocar should have been a goal to the good. Clifton found Jason with a delightful ball from the centre of the park over the defense and with only the keeper at his mercy Jason lacked composure and blasted way over.
And just when it looked like both sides were going into the break scoreless the Greens broke the deadlock courtesy some brilliant individual play from right back Rosario Mendes. After being fed by Jason down the right, Rosario attacked the defense and on the edge of the box spun around and his left foot curled inside the near post, leaving the Guardian Angel keeper stranded.
Both sides showed a lot more urgency after the change of ends, but on a fairly uneven pitch, controlling the ball that was bouncing around was certainly a challenge. Godfrey sent in an early cross from the right in the 54th minute but goal-scorer Rosario was alert to the danger behind him and cleared the ball to safety. Alesh Sawant who made his debut for the Greens was introduced as the second change in the 61st minute for Myron Borges after Umesh Harijan had replaced Jason Barbosa at half time. Alesh was in the thick of things straightaway and won his side a couple of free-kicks in the middle of the pitch.
Guardian Angel’s most dangerous attack came in the 78th minute off a counter attack that came about after Salgaocar had a corner at one end of the pitch. Godfrey played substitute Mellon Colaco through but Rosario and captain Rocus Lamare tracked back in time to avert the danger.
The Greens held on for the final 12 minutes to ensure 3 points and continue to inch closer to the league leaders. They will next take on Dempo SC on the 1st of December at the Duler Stadium.