Salgaocar come from a goal down to beat Churchill in the quarter-final of the Police Cup
Salgaocar FC chose to field their U-20 side for the Police Cup and the juniors gave their fans much to cheer about after rallying from a goal down to beat Churchill Brothers SC 2-1 in a thrilling quarter-final of the Police Cup played at the SAG ground in Cuncolim. The teams were locked 1-1 at the breather.
Playing in front of a capacity crowd, Salgaocar’s youngsters took a while to settle down as Churchill enjoyed the lion’s of possession share early on. Nicholas Fernandes, in particular, threatened the Salgaocar citadel repeatedly with the Fernandes duo of Seriton and Semson ably assisting him.
Naro Hari Shrestha who led the attack for Salgaocar and goalkeeper Rohan Sheikh stood out for the Greens, with captain Godfrey Mascarenhas marshalling the resources admirably in defence. Within the first 15 minutes keeper, Rohan pulled off two stunning saves including one from point blank range that had the defence scrambling to clear their lines to ensure no early damage was done.
However, on the half-hour mark, Churchill broke the deadlock when a beautifully essayed ball from the right saw an onrushing Nicholas Fernandes slot the ball calmly to the keeper’s right. The goal seemed to have spurred the Salgaocar lads as they attacked with a lot more purpose and intent.
A neat build-up saw Naro’s cross from the right met by Jason but the ball sailed wide. In the 37th minute, however, the teams were level courtesy a superlative team goal. Naro upon receiving the ball just after the half line smartly beat a couple of defenders and played a through ball to Myron who in turn squared the ball on the turn to set up a simple tap in for Jason from close.
Churchill came out all guns blazing for the second half
The change of ends saw the game get a lot more physical, the lush green slippery surface aiding sliding tackles. Salgaocar were happy to break on the counter as Churchill did most of the running. Raja and Harmanjot on the flanks for Salgaocar were brought into play with Churchill opting for a more direct approach.
In the 57th minute off a throw-in, Harmanjot centred the ball deep. With a couple of players vying for the aerial ball, the ball landed at the feet of Naro who smashed home with his left foot giving the keeper no chance. Thereafter Churchill raided the Salgaocar goal repeatedly with Seriton’s in-swinging cross coming off the woodwork. Rohan effected 2 more outstanding saves towards the latter part of the to keep the Churchill forwards at bay.
Despite earning a succession of corners in the final 5 minutes of the game, Salgaocar’s youngsters managed to hold fort to ensure a safe passage through to the semi-finals where they will take on Santa Cruz Club of Cavelossim on the 16th at Tilak Maidan, Vasco.