Beach Soccer Championship kicks off in Goa!
India’s inaugural Beach Soccer Tournament kicked off amidst much fan-fare at Calangute beach in Goa today. The grand opening ceremony saw the who’s-who of Goa present to launch the 5-day sporting extravaganza. Among the notable personalities present at the launch event were Mr. Francis D’Souza (Honorable Deputy Chief Minister of Goa), Mr. Dilip Parulekar (Honorable Minister of Tourism), Mr. Udit Sheth (MD & CEO – TransStadia), Dr. Rufino Monteiro (Chairman – Goa Football Development Council), Mr. Prabhudesai (Sports Director – Dept. Of Sports & Youth Affairs), Mrs. Anna Maria D’Souza (Sarpanch, Calangute Bardez), Mr. Joseph Sequeira (Calangute Constituency), Mr. Alex Fernandes (President – Calangute Football Association), Mr. Alirio Lobo (Member – Goa Football Association), Mr. Brian Colwell (President – Deltin Suites).
The action-packed matches saw 32 teams from the 64 registered football clubs, battling it out for the coveted championship title on Day One of the prestigious tournament. The mega sporting bonanza brought an eclectic mix of beach soccer and entertainment to the Goan shores. The cheering crowds perfectly blended with the thumping music to add the much-needed vigour to the sport.
The event also attracted a large number of spectators. Grabbing eye-balls at the tournament is the world-class T-box arena setup which served miraculously in accommodating the horde. Breaking the shackles of hosting sporting events in stadiums, TransStadia hosted the Beach Soccer matches at the T-Box Mobile Arena setup in Calangute. This is the first time that such a unique and advanced facility has been installed in the country for a Beach Soccer Tournament. The event also served as a major tourist attraction, and many foreigners were seen enjoying the game and cheering the local teams.
In the very first encounter between Nauxim Sports Club and Ponda Footballers, the latter won the match thanks to a brilliant goal during the penalty shootout. Pawan Hadkonkar from Nauxim SC scored the first goal for his team in the first half. The scores were leveled when Ponda’s Dominic Soares scored during the last minute of the match through a free kick. In the tiebreaker, Peter Pereira from Ponda scored the match-winning goal while Nauxim missed the chance. Ponda footballers won the match 2-1.
In the second match between Friends XI Sports Club and Kasargod, the boys from Kerala won the contest 2 -1. Neither team opened their accounts in the first half. In the second half, Vasant Gadekar from Friends XI SC scored the first goal. Powered by a penalty kick thanks to a foul, Kerala’s Sharafudheen scored the first goal during the last minute to level scores. In the tie breaker, Sharafudheen scored a good second but Gadekar missed his chance.
Paradise Sports Club beat Margao Sports Club by one goal in the third match. Gautam Kurtikar scored the goal in the second minute of the match.
In an exciting fourth match between FC Neura and Adarsh Yuvak Sangh, Neura goalkeeper Desmond D’mello threw the ball towards the other end. The ball made contact with the AYS goalkeeper and went into the goal. Neura won the match thanks to the slip-up.