Goals from Francisco Fernandes and Chirag Mardolkar ensured full points for Vasco Sports Club as they began their Goa Football Association Selvel Goa Professional League campaign with a 2-1 win over Guardian Angel SC at Duler Stadium, Mapusa, on Wednesday.
Guardian Angel SC were off to a dream start as they scored in the third minute through Gopi Raghunath Gad. The lad came from the right flank in the central area and struck a powerful shot which had no answer from Luis Barreto.
Vasco SC continued to dominate in the midfield but lacked the end result. However, at the half hour mark they managed to get what they lacked –the final touch. A long cross from the left flank by a Vasco midfielder Bersal Viegas found Chirag Mardolkar who made no mistake to tap the ball home past the Guardian Angel keeper Oswin Rodrigues, 1-1.
Coming from the water break, Guardian looked for immediate reply, resorting through long range shots. Sahil Bhokare tried his luck from distance which was easily dealt by former ISL custodian Luis Barreto.
There was a moment of magic from Sahil when he danced his way past three Vasco players, however, just before he could pull the trigger he was brought down in the box by a Vasco defender. Though there were penalty claims by GASC, the referee showed no interest in the same.
In the 41st minute, Guardian Angel were denied once again by Luis Barreto. Gilbert Olievira whipped a free-kick from the left flank in the area where Fedrich Fernandes’ flicked the ball towards the goal; however, the former Raia custodian did enough to keep the scores level.
Just before the break, Guardian Angel came agonisingly close to regaining their lead when Sahil was set through on goal. He covered some ground and unleashed a low grounder from the edge of the box, which kept Luis on his toes, but his shot hit the post and came back into the play.
In the second half, Vasco SC came back much stronger, enjoying more possession and created a series of chances through Cavin Lobo and Kuldeep Kumar, but none were threatening. Vasco kept on knocking but at the other end, Peter Carvalho guided in a Gilbert’s freekick from outside a box thus forcing a save from Luis Barreto.
At the other end, Vasco SC scored from a counter attack wherein Francisco Fernandes placed the ball past the Guardian Angel keeper from outside the box.
In the dying minutes of the game, Guardian Angel SC’s Nicholas Rodrigues slammed a powerful drive from inside the box which was dealt by Vasco custodian Luis. Vasco’s Joshua D’Silva missed a couple of chances late in the game.