Panjim, Goa,16th March 2018: The FC Goa reserve squad opened their second division I-league campaign in stunning fashion as they recorded a 5-1 victory over Madhya Bharat SC at the Bambolim Athletic Stadium. Liston Colaco got on the scoresheet as early as the second minute and the side used that as a catapult to net two more goals before half time through Aaren D’Silvas first time shot and Yasir Mohammed’s effort. Madhya Bharat SC pulled one goal back through Haileuyibe Iranggau after a miss pass in the opening minutes of the second period. But the Gaurs pushed forward relentlessly as Krishna Pandit restored the three goal moments after the away side’s goal. Aaren then completed his brace midway through the half as he slotted past goalkeeper Sanju Thapa for the team’s fifth.
The Gaurs got off to the best possible start with skipper Liston Colaco putting his team in front in under two minutes of play. Krishna Pandit was released down the right flank and he put in a good cross towards the far post where an unmarked Liston kept his calm and slotted the ball low into the far post on the volley for the opener. The Gaurs were dominating proceedings and kept possession of the ball for long periods. The midfield duo of Kingslee Fernandes and Hayden Fernandes were controlling the tempo of the game and releasing the wide players with ease repeatedly.
Clifford Miranda’s men were opening the opposition defence up easily and it was only a matter of time before they doubled their advantage. Kingslee took possession of the ball in midfield and passed it forward for Aaren D’Silva who took a touch and turned his marker brilliantly before releasing Saviour Gama down the left with a stunning outside of the foot pass. The diminutive wing back trapped the ball and set up Aaren who continued his run into the box and finished the ball at the far post with ease. A few minutes later, Saviour had the chance to score a third but fired his shot across the face of goal. The home side were given a scars in the 22nd minute when striker Haileuyibe Iranggau ran into the box on the right and fired a shot at Mohammad Nawaz’s far post. However, the ball sailed wide.
Despite their two goal cushion, the Gaurs continued to charge forward in a bid to get out of sight. Aaren’s towering presence and hold up play was putting a lot of pressure on the away side’s defence as they struggled to keep up with the tempo at which the Gaurs were operating. Iranggau had another chance late in the first half when he was played through. However, Lalnunsiama did well to keep up with him and block his shot. The Gaurs continued to fashion chances as the half progressed with Jonathan Cardozo and Liston not being able to get the ball past the goalkeeper. Their perseverance finally paid off right at the end of the first period through an excellent counter-attacking move. Kingslee released Krishna who waited inside the half line, and then ran on to the ball to beat the offside trap. He squared the ball for Aaren who poked it towards Yasir who made no mistake, calmly slotting into the net to triple the lead. Not long after, the referee called for a halt on proceedings.
Madhya Bharat SC came out in the second period with a mountain to climb and they started the half brilliantly, pulling one goal back only minutes after the restart. A poor pass from Lalnunsiama handed possession directly to Haileuyibe Iranggau who slotted it past Nawaz easily to pull one goal back. The goal seemed to give them confidence and they began to trouble Meldon and Lalnunsiama. However, both central defenders remained alert to the danger to keep the Bhopal side from coming back into the contest. A few minutes later, the Gaurs had four goals. Aaren beat the offside trap and ran on to a long ball forward. He took it down well and cut it powerfully across the face of goal where Krishna ran on to it and smashed home. A couple of minutes later, the score should have been 5-1 when Aaren and Yasir combined well to set up Krishna once more. However, the winger skied his shot. He had another chance to score his second when Aaren played him in superbly. Krishna ran forward and cheekily lobbed the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper but failed to hit the target as the ball went into the side netting. The Gaurs were turning on the heat with Yasir and Aaren having chances almost immediately. Both attacking players failed to cash in and score their second.
The Bhopal team were clutching at straws as they tried to limit the damage that the home side was causing them. But they were unsuccessful in containing Clifford’s marauding charges as Aaren netted his second of the game not long after. Liston found himself with space in midfield and released the unmarked striker on the right. He ran forward, dodged the goalkeeper and slotted it into the net easily to make it 5. 5 could have become 6 moments later when Yasir found Jonathan with a through ball. The right back charged into the box and shot at the far post. But the ball came back off the post and the chance was gone. The Gaurs were relentless in their attack and could have had at least another four goals with a plethora of chances going to waste. Hayden Fernandes had the last chance of the match when the ball was played to him in the box. But he skied his effort to keep the score down to 5-1 as the referee called for time on proceedings.
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