The FC Goa development team went down 1-0 to Salgaocar FC in a tightly contested affair at the Duler Stadium on 19th January 2018. Umesh Hairjan was on target for the Greens early on after he volleyed home from a corner. The Gaurs fought valiantly but were unable to break down the Salgaocar defence as the men in green held on for victory.
Salgaocar FC got off to the best possible start with midfielder Umesh Hairjan getting on the end of an early corner to volley superbly past Shubham Dhas in goal. The Gaurs were on the back foot early on and had a lot of work to do to go past an experienced Salgaocar side. The men in green however were relentless as they kept possession superbly and bombed forward. Clifford Miranda’s men were forced to fall back and defend and had to rely on counter-attacks to get forward. In the absence of Liston Colaco and Yasir Mohamad, Kingslee Fernandes was forced to take on creative duties to supply the wingers and Aaren D’Silva.
The Gaurs had a few chances through the half with Kingslee taking a super shot from distance that evaded the crossbar by inches. Aaren was deployed as the target man and held up the ball superbly on a number of occasions as he tried to play the ball on for runners around him. However, it was the experienced Goan side that had the better chances as they struck the post late on and forced Shubham into a few saves. The Gaurs were hanging on and attempting to break forward in a bid to get back into the game but with time ticking by, Salgaocar took their lead into half-time.
The Gaurs had work to do in the second period and they came out all guns blazing. Aaren could have had the equalizing goal within minutes of the restart after winger Krishna Pandit ran down the left wing, got to the byline and squared the ball. However, the lanky striker couldn’t convert through a sea of legs. FC Goa came out with intent and pushed forward with intensity but were unable to unlock the compact Salgaocar defence. The Greens, on the other hand were comfortable playing the ball out from defence and attacking with pace from the wings. Saviour Gama was booked for a foul midway through the half.
Salgaocar had a superb chance to double their lead in the last third of the match after a fantastic counter-attack but Shubham made a brilliant diving save to keep out the shot that was headed into the top corner. The Greens kept the pressure up as time was running out for the Gaurs. Salgaocar continued to attack relentlessly as the Gaurs looked to keep pace with them and were lucky to be down by only a goal after the Greens struck the crossbar late on and then Shubham was forced into yet another stop.
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