MAPUSA: Salgaocar FC got off to a winning start in the Selvel-Goa Football Association ‘Goa Professional League 2020-21’ as they beat FC Goa second-team 2-0 at GFA’s Duler stadium, here today. Saeesh Halarnkar (38th minute) and substitute Stephen Satarkar (90th minute) scored a goal each for the Green brigade.

Both teams started cautiously, but it was the Greens who had the first real chance in the eighth minute when Brisen Fernandes read Vasim Inamdar’s run in the box and played a perfect lob for the last-named. Vasim had the ball at his feet but before the U-20 player could pull the trigger, Perry Pereira came up with a vital interception.

FC Goa then took total control of the game with their midfielders outplaying the Greens. However, they were dealt with a blow in the 38th minute when their defender Malsawmtluanga Ralte handled Perry Pereira’s cross inside the box. The defender, who was unmarked conceded a needless foul in the box, which forced referee to point straight to the spot. Saeesh Halarnkar smashed the ball in the top right, past the diving Antonio.

Salgaocar nearly doubled the lead in the 40th minute. Saeesh set Steflon on the right flank, who got past his marker, and shot at the goal from a tight angle. Keeper Antonio made a great save only to see the rebound fall straight to Valentinho, but the last-named shot out of frame with no one between him and the goal. This was the best chance so far from an open play in the first half.

FC Goa started with an intent to get the equaliser in the second half and had their chance within 10 minutes of the restart. Aaren used his physical strength to win the ball from his opponent and squared to Vasim, but the youngster missed another opportunity to get his side back on level terms, shooting wide.

  With 10 minutes to go, FC Goa were forced to play with 10 men after first half substitute Nestor Dias, limped off the pitch with a knock. Salgaocar FC nearly capitalised on having a man advantage when Stephen Satarkar was set through on goal but he shot wide.

However the second-half substitute made amends in the 90th minute, getting the ball in the area, Stephen took a first-time shot; which took a slight deflection off a FC Goa defender and landed over the keeper Antonio to make it 2-0 for Salgaocar FC.


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