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Sporting Clube de Goa drew 1-1 with 10 men Goa Velha sports club in GFA’s kingfisher pro league at Duler stadium, here on Monday. Goa Velha led through a Royden Camelo strike with virtually the last kick of the first half, while Ogba kalu curled in a free kick five minutes after the change of ends to find Sporting’s equalizer.
“We had a game plan, and the boys stuck to the instructions, we had to change a little after the sending off but we are happy to come away with a point,” remarked Goa Velha coach Lino Pereira.
“I told my players not to underestimate any team, sometimes teams play better with ten men, but I was also happy how my team readjusted at the break and quickly got back in contention early on which was important,” reasoned Sporting coach Ekendra Singh.
Goa Velha striker Donald Rocha was booked after just 53 seconds as he tried a spectacular bicycle kick, but unfortunately only made contact with the face of a sporting defender. Ten minutes into the second half Donald lunged in on his opponent and before the referee could even brandish a red card, a bottle was thrown from the stands which hit Donald on the back of the head. Donald took a few steps before he collapsed to the floor. Donald was back on his feet after ten minutes and he walked back to the dressing room.
Sporting did not create too much in the first half, but looked to expose the wings in the second session, replacing Gabriel Fernandes with Victorino Fernandes and allowing Bisheshwor Singh to move to the right flank.
Goa Velha worked hard to close down their opponents and should also be credited for continuing to push forward even after going down to ten men when they could have easily pressed the panic button. This made their opponents retreat after initially throwing men forward to snatch the winner.
Kalu had a couple of good chances early on for Sporting, but missed the target first with a header from a corner and then firing over the bar.
At the other end Goa Velha’s Royden Camelo headed over a cross from Trevor Dias. In the 43rd minute Keita thought he scored for Sporting when Jovel Martins swung in a free kick and Avelino Fernandes flicked on for keita to score, only to be waved offside by the referee’s assistant.
In the second minute of injury time Alber Gonsalves crossed from the left, which Donald controlled and laid off for Royden to place home for Goa Velha.
Five minutes into the second session Sporting restored parity when Nigerian midfielder Ogba Kalu Beautifully guided the ball into the back of the net from a free kick on the edge of the box.
Sporting substitute Adil Khan could have found the winner late on, when the ball was played across the goal and he snapped at it, but it flew miserably over the bar. Adil held his head for sometime after as he knew he should have done a lot better. In the end both teams held out for a point.
At Poriat ground Sesa Football academy and Calangute association played out a goalless draw. “We hit the wood work a couple of times and could have scored, but I am really happy we finally managed to open our account with a point, stated Calangute coach Vishwas Gaonkar.
“We should have taken three points, our opponents defended with ten men for long periods and our job became even more difficult when we were reduced to ten men after the sending off of Felix,” stated Sesa coach Clifford Chukwuma.
First published in Herald on 15th september 2011.