MARGAO/ CAVELOSSIM BATTLE TO GO TOP

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Surprise package Margao sports club and Santa Cruz club of Cavelossim will go head to head at Tilak Maidan, Vasco, on Friday with the winners moving to the top of the Kingfisher Pro League.
Even a draw would be enough to see 5th place Cavelossim go above Sporting Clube de Goa on goal difference at the top of the league as they defeated Calangute Association 3-0 in their opening match.
 Cavelossim coach Bibiano Fernandes will be looking for a win as he knows a good start would help his team later on, once the big teams wake up from their lackluster start to the campaign.
Margao have drawn both their opening matches and have only two points and are currently occupying 6th position. Having drawn their opening matches with the experienced Vasco sports club and then going on to hold mighty Salgaocar sports club, Margao coach Joaquim Crasto can be quietly confident that his side can come away with a win.
Both teams know each other very well having been promoted from the GFA 2nd division to the GFA 1st division and now to the Pro League together over the past two seasons. The squads may have strengthened this season and the players different, but the rivalry will be just as intense.

First appeared at www.goa-fa.com on 15th September 2011.

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CANDOLIM OVERWHELM PILERNE

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A brace from Paul Cardoza eased Candolim sports club to an easy 6-0 victory over Pilerne sports club in GFA’s 3rd division at Tembi ground, Anjuna on Wednesday. Candolim led by a solitary goal at the lemon break.
Suraj Bandodkar, Martin D’Costa, Caitan Xaiver and Joelif Simoes were also on target for Candolim.
At St Christopher’s ground, Tivim goals from Mansoor Khan and Shafin Khan enabled CJ Brothers to defeat football club of Sanquelim 2-1. Milind Rane had equalized earlier for Sanquelim just before the break. CJ Brothers have now moved to 9 points from three matches after three wins.

First published in Herald on 14th September 2011.

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VAGATOR BYPASS ABC!

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Substitute Ramdas Mandraker made an immediate impact as he scored a brace to help Parish youth Vagator come back from behind to defeat ABC Arambol 4-3 in an exciting GFA 3rd division encounter, at Chapora ground on Tuesday. ABC led 2-0 at the change of ends.
ABC striker Blasco Rodrigues scored twice within the first twenty minutes, but they felt the full force of a Vagator revival after the breather.
The match took a violent edge in the last fifteen minutes with the referee handing out four yellow cards in total for reckless tackles. Paulo Fernandes and Anthony Monteiro were booked for ABC, while Jovan Almeida and Leaster Albuerque were the Vagator offenders.
Tall Vagator midfielder Stepleton Fernandes was the mastermind in their comeback. He scored the first and initiated the others with his inch perfect passing.
ABC combined well in midfield with Blasco superb finishing in front of goal, although a lack of concentration in the defence late on cost them dearly.
After just eleven minutes ABC raced into the lead when Blasco blasted in a rebounded shot. Nine minutes later Blasco held off his marker and wonderfully lifted the ball over the Vagator custodian.
Vagator made their second substitution in the 53rd minute, bringing on Ramdas for Raju Pawar, which proved to be vital.
Stepleton amazingly dribbled past three defenders and slotted the ball under the goalkeeper to bring Vagator back into contention in the 57th.
Four minutes later Sadrick Rodigues steamrolled his way down the right flank before sending in a cross for Leaster and he laid the ball off for Ramdas to bring Vagator level. In the space of another four minutes Ramdas had the easiest of jobs after tapping in Stepleton’s cross from a yard out.
The pace of the game intensified and ten minutes from the end Stepleton found Leaster on root to goal and his finish was magnificently placed into the far corner of the net.
A minute before the end Steve Fernandes shot in from close to keep the final score respectable.
At Quitula ground, second half goals from Charlton D’Souza and Sanjay Mayekar gave Friends XI sports club, Vaddem a 2-0 victory over Sinquerim sports club.

First published in Herald on 14th September 2011.

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SPORTING HELD BY GOA VELHA!

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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.

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ARPORA HIT SEVEN!

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Sensational Swapnil Shirodkar netted four times as Arpora sporting club hammered Chapora Yuvak Sangh 7-0 in Gfa’s 3rd division at Chapora ground on Monday. Arpora led by three at the interval.
Pusparaj  Mandraker opened the scoring for Arpoa after just four minutes. Swapnil scored two goals either side of the break, before Remino Estroocio and Agostine Oliveria converted in the closing stages for Arpora.
At Quitula ground, Augustias sporting club upset the hosts as they defeated Quitula sports club 3-1. Pundalik Naik and Mervyn Fernandes gave Augustias a 2-0 cushion within the first half hour.
 Amit Harlankar pulled one back for Quitula ten minutes before half time to give his side a glimmer of hope, but their hopes were dashed In the 81st when Eusebio Texeria wonderfully finished for Augustias.

first published in Hearald on 13th september 2011.

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CALANGUTE AND SESA LOOK FOR FIRST WIN/ SPORTING LOCK HORNS WITH GOA VELHA

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Calangute Association will take on Sesa football academy in the Kingfisher Pro League at Poriat stadium, Calangute on Monday. At Duler stadium, Mapusa, Goa Velha sports club will take on Sporting Clube de Goa.
Calangute lost their opening match to Santa Cruz club of Cavelossim 0-3 and will be looking to make amends against Sesa. Sesa come into the game after losing to Sporting clube de Goa 1-2.
Goa Velha who was drubbed by Dempo sports club 0-6 in their first game will be looking to strengthen their defence when they take on Sporting. Last season Goa velha snatched a 1-0 victory over Sporting thanks to an Alber Gonsalves effort. In the return match Sporting triumphed 4-1 with a brace from Rovan Pereira and goals from Steven Fernandes and Avelino Fernandes. Saprem Diukar hit a consolation goal for Goa Velha.

First appeard at www.goa-fa.com on 12th september 2011.

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CHURCHILL BROTHERS SNEAK WIN

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After just three minutes ND Opara finished calmly to give 10 men Churchill Brothers a 1-0 victory over Dempo sports club in the Kingfisher Goa pro league at Duler stadium, here on Sunday.
Dempo came into the match with a win under their belt, while Churchill were in badly need of a win after losing their opening encounter. ND Opara slotted in to give them a hard fought three points after being played in by Jerry Zirsanga in the third minute.
“We conceded early through a silly mistake, which put us on the back foot for the remaining of the game, it is a very disappointing,” remarked Dempo coach Mauricio Afonso.
“The whole team worked hard to grind out the win, as our opponents never gave up and we did not expect them to,” stated Churchill coach Mariano Dias.
Churchill’s central midfielder Jerry Zirsanga was sent off in the closing stages after receiving his second yellow card. His first came in the 50th for a reckless tackle on Dempo’s Ranty Martins, while his second was for unnecessarily wasting time. 
Churchill played a strict 4-4-2. After scoring early they then had the job of keeping out Dempo for 87 minutes. Felix D’souza played brilliantly for Churchill in the goal and was assisted by a very strong defence especially the extremely tall Anton Kovic who blocked anything that moved. Churchill left out Beto and Henri Anchouet which meant they were not so threatening in front of goal.
Dempo were shocked by the early goal and didn’t really recover after that. They had many of their India internationals on show such as Climax Lawrence, Mahesh Gawli, and Debrata Roy but they seemed of the pace, lacking sharpness and will take some time to get back to their best after a tiring last season. 
A mix up within the Dempo defence allowed Jerry to slip the ball through for ND Opara after just three minutes and he only needed one invitation in front of goal to put Churchill ahead.
Ranty Martins and koko Sakibo tried their best to pressurize the Churchill defence but were left frustrated after narrowly missing the target from close.
The hardworking Anthony Pereira swapped from the right to the left wing with Brian Mascarenhas, to try and make some headway, but resorted back to his original position just before the break after having little success.
Fifteen minutes into the second session Anthony crossed for koko but his header was saved. Moments later Churchill substitute Savio Carneiro made a tricky run into the Dempo box, but could not keep his composure and was stopped in his tracks.
Ten minutes from the end Dempo had their best chance of the game, when Anthony crossed for Clifton Gonsalves who did not make the best of connections, but the ball fell to Substitute Nicolau Borges who headed the ball against the bar. From the rebound Felix made a spectacular double save to deny Ranti Martins and then Nicolau, which just about summed up Dempo’s afternoon.

First published in Herald on 14th september 2011.

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