PANAJI: Cajetan Fernandes scored a brace to script a thrilling comeback for Sesa Football Academy in a 2-2 draw against Guardian Angel Sports Club in Goa Football Association’s Selvel Goa Professional League at Duler Stadium, Mapusa, on Friday.

Guardian Angel had taken first-half lead through Joel Barreto and Beneston Barretto, in a dominating display. However, the second session was totally in control of Sesa FA, who not only got on the level terms, but also nearly struck the match-winner.

In a battle between two teams fighting relegation, Guardian Angel were clearly the better side as the Curchorem-based outfit started brightly dominating their opponents. They should have taken an early lead but Sesa’s Suraj came up with a goalline clearance to deny Joel Barretto from scoring after he connected onto a Leny Fernandes corner.

However it did not take long before Guardian Angel finally broke the deadlock and the goal came when Leny found his cross deflect off Sesa’s Minesh Kunkolkar. The ball almost sneaked into being an own goal but keeper Sapan Singh parried the ball only to find Joel, whose powerful volley crashed into the back of the net.

Sesa FA were clearly lacking a playmaker as the young academy side lacked creativity and intent in their buildup. Though they had created two chances, these were dealt by Guardian Angel defence before the opponents could test the keeper. First Shajam P’s cross was blocked by Leny and then Sesa’s Rizbon Fernandes saw his pile-driver hit a Guardian Angel player.

Guardian Angel, who were attacking in numbers finally doubled the lead in the first half additional time. It was Basanta Singh who on getting the ball on the right side, got into the middle and dribbled past his marker Myron before firing a low shot at the near post. Keeper Sapan anticipated the ball and blocked it well but could not latch on to the ball as Beneston Barretto slammed the ball into the roof of the net off the rebound.

In the second session, Sesa were clearly the better team. They created early chances through Stephen and Cajetan but could not score until the 52nd minute where they were awarded a penalty after Benzu Clemente handled Stephen’s cross in the box. Referee had no hesitation to point towards the spot and Cajetan coolly reduced the deficit.

Within minutes Sesa FA were awarded a free-kick just outside the box when Leny fouled Faheez Mohammed. An experienced Cajetan took the responsibility of shooting and bent a curling free-kick to restore parity.

At the other end, Joel Barretto was denied by a brilliant Sesa goalkeeper Sapan. In the dying minutes of the game, both sides had a chance each. But the keepers were the highlight as they pulled off stunning saves to keep the score-line at 2-2.


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