Salgaocar book a place in the Police Cup final after win over Santa Cruz Club of Cavelossim
Jason Barbosa scored two goals to guide Salgaocar to the final
Salgaocar FC’s juniors continued their fine run of form early on in the season as they stormed into the finals of the 13th Goa Police Cup, courtesy a 3-2 win over Santa Cruz Club of Cavelossim in the semi-finals played at Tilak Maidan, Vasco earlier this evening. The winners led 2-1 at the breather.
Cavelossim came out of the blocks, the faster of the two sides and almost scored inside the first 10 minutes when a pile driver from about 25 yards out came crashing off the inside of the post and back into play. Salgaocar’s youngsters settled down thereafter and almost scored themselves when striker Naro Hari blasted over on the turn from inside the 6-yard box.
Shortly after, the Greens were to take the lead when a quick break down the right saw the ball essayed to Naro on top of the box who relayed the ball to Jason Barbosa to score his first of the evening.
Cavelossim could have drawn level in the 18th minute when the referee pointed to spot after left back Raja Rawat was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box. However, the resultant spot kick was a feeble attempt and Rohan under the Salgaocar bar was able to easily parry away diving to his left.
Cavelossim earned their equalizer through sheer persistence
The Cavelossim lads kept up the pressure and earned a spate of corners in search of the equaliser. In the 24th minute, the scores were all level as Marcus Fernandes, who was by far Cavelossim’s stand out performer made another darting run on the left and sent in a fine cross. Joshua Vaz who was lurking in the box smartly got ahead of his man to poke the ball home from close.
Their joy was short-lived, however, as Jason finished a cross from Harmanjot for his second of the evening after Naro had failed to make contact. Naro could have further increased the lead for the Greens but blasted over from close range. At the other end, Rohan was having another outstanding game for the Greens under the bar, pulling off some fine saves.
The second half began with Cavelossim resorting to a direct approach in search of the equaliser with Salgaocar’s youngsters happy to sit back and allow their opponents to do the running. They did resort to the counter and Naro had a couple of attempts at goal from distance that sailed marginally over.
The final 10 minutes of the game saw plenty of action at both ends. Jason failed to connect a measured cross from the right for Salgaocar, with Marcus threatening with pace on the left and some delightful crosses for Cavelossim.
The game was all but sealed in the 81st minute as Harmanjot Singh twisted, turned and wriggled his way past 3 Cavelossim players before sending in a teasing cross. Naro who was lurking flung himself at the ball and made enough contact for the ball to sail in the corner of the net, leaving the Cavelossim keeper Ram rooted.
Cavelossim did pull one back in the 90th minute as Marcus who was played through, finished calmly past an advancing Rohan. But eventually, time did run out as the Greens held on to make the finals where they will now take on the winner of the game between Dempo SC and Tuff Laxmi Prasad SC to be played at the same venue on the 19th.