GFA Pro League champions Salgaocar FC drubbed Goa Velha Sports Club 4-1 in the GFA charity match played at Duler stadium, on Sunday. SFC surprisingly started with Milagres in defense, while Ajmaludin Umer and Gagandeep Bali were handed their debuts.
Goa Velha started brightly and should have taken the lead in the 10th minute of play, after Salgaocar keeper Felix D’Souza’s pass to defender Milagres was intercepted by Joe Colaco, but the striker’s shot was blocked by Milagres. In a counter attack, a long-ranger by Gagandeep was safely collected by Goa Velha custodian Milagrio Madeira. Goa Velha got a surprise lead in the 13th minute after defender Ajmaludin Umer was brought down by Joe Colaco inside the penalty box. Nester Dias converted from the spot to take the lead.
Stung by the reverse, Salgaocar came up with a couple of threatening moves, but the efforts by Bali failed as his placement missed narrowly, a header was then thwarted by the Goa Velha keeper. Salgaocar levelled terms in the 23rd minute as Gilbert Oliveira, collecting a pass from Milagres Gonsalves, unleashed a 25-yard grounder, which crashed into the far corner of the goal past the diving keeper Milagrio, 1-1.
Salgaocar took the lead three minutes before the breather. Gilbert was denied by Milagrio in a one-to-one situation but the ball went to skipper Francis Fernandes, who chipped the ball into the unguarded goal, 2-1.
Salgaocar suffered a setback in the 63rd minute as Bali was sent off by the referee with a double booking for rough play. However, the disadvantage did not hamper Salgaocar too much as they made it 3-1 within five minutes. Gilbert’s 35-yard freekick found substitute Rakesh Masih on the left flank and he connected a half volley into the nylons.
Goa Velha had a couple of chances to reduce the margin. Joy Gonsalves dribbled past a host of Salgaocar defenders, but shot into the rival keeper’s hands, while Joe Colaco having an unguarded goal in front of him shot out. While Goa Velha failed to score, Salgaocar netted their fourth goal through their defender Augustin Fernandes, who leapt high above the Goa Velha defenders to guide his header into the goal off a Gilbert Fernandes corner.
Mean while, the students of Arya Dayanand High School, Neura had come to witness the green brigade in action and after the match, had a chance to catch a glimpse of their idols and have a photograph session with them. The players of SFC distributed gifts to the winners of the ‘Predict the Score contest’ conducted by Salgaocar FC.