Panjim, Goa: The FC Goa Development put on a dominant display against Corps of Signals at the Duler Football Stadium in Mapusa in the Goa Professional League. Skipper Liston Colaco was on hand to score a brace to help his side to a 2-0 victory. The youngster netted a superb opener early on in the first half and then finished off a counter-attacking move in stoppage time to put the game beyond the reach of the opposition.
The young Gaurs began the game on the front foot, keeping the ball and moving it around well. They were presented with an early chance to take the lead but striker Aaren D’Silva couldn’t direct a cross from the right towards goal. Corps of Signals hit right back with a header of their own at the other end but the ball flies high above the cross bar. Thereafter, both teams began to settle and look for possession. The Gaurs were more successful in this respect and deservedly took the lead. Saviour Gama was found down the left with a superb ball and he played it to Liston who dribbled on the edge of the box, beating two defenders in the process and curling in a superb effort at the far post.
Liston almost doubled the lead immediately after scoring the first when he found himself in the box. However, his shot from point blank range was stopped well by Binu Purushothama. The opposition began to look for a way back into the match thereafter and could have had the equalizer but Iprotip Das made a brilliant save when the ball was headed on target from a corner. As the half progressed, the Gaurs looked more comfortable in possession as Corps of Signals were chasing the game. Aaren missed a gilt edged chance to make it two after Liston’s first time low cross from the left hand side left him with only the keeper to beat. However, he couldn’t connect well enough to direct the ball goalwards.
Towards the end of the first period, Iprotip was called on one more time to keep the Gaurs in the game after Pawan Thakur collected a loose pass by Gama, charged into the box and released a goal bound effort. The keeper however, reacted swiftly to palm the ball away. Liston’s superb free-kick almost made it 2-0 before the half ended, but Binu prevented further damage for his side. Corps of Signals were resigned to hitting the Gaurs on the counter but were unable to find a way back into the game before the first half ended.
It was a bright start to the second half as Yasir found himself in space almost from kick-off. The midfielder cut in and shot towards the far post but the keeper managed to tip away his shot. It was more of the same after the restart as the Gaurs asserted their dominance on the match as the opposition played catch-up. Liston almost doubled the lead few minutes into the half after a sensational solo effort. The Goan received the ball outside the box and turned and twisted his way past the challenge of a number of defenders before beating the goalkeeper with a superb left foot strike that ricocheted back into play after striking the inside of the far post. The Gaurs were attacking in waves and got another chance when Liston found himself in space and shot towards the far post. The keeper parried the shot and Meldon picked up the loose ball in the box and crossed it towards the far post where it grazed the head of Liston and went out of play.
The midfield trio of Kingslee Fernandes, Princeton Rebello and Leander D’Cunha were controlling the game from midfield as the opposition struggled to cope with their possession play. However, both teams were unable to score. Jonathan Cardozo was taken off for Brian Faria after the right back went down injured. Moments later Enestar Malngiang was brought on for Aaren. Corps had a chance to equalize late in the half after a stinging drive from the right side of the box but Iprotip once again palmed the ball away to keep his side in the lead. Thereafter, it was the turn of Enestar to try his luck as he skipped into the box but dragged his shot wide of the near post. The Gaurs were put under a lot of pressure in stoppage time as the opposition looked for an equalizer but the defence held on to keep them at bay as the Gaurs looked to counter-attack. In the dying seconds of the game, the ball was played out to Liston who had clear air in front of him and ran towards goals, tapping the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper to seal victory for his side.
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