23/08/2015 …. : Defending Champions of the Goa Professional league Salgaocar FC overcame Sporting Clube de Goa, winners of the GFA knock-out tournament to win the season opener, the GFA Champions Trophy Charity Match to claim their first piece of silverware for the season. The all-important goal of the match was scored in the 44th minute by Aslon Oliveira.
With both teams having chosen to field young sides, the game seldom rose to any heights. Salgaocar dominated the early exchanges but lacked delivery or penetration in the final third. James Fernandes had a left foot crack at goal early in the game for the Greens, the ball however sailing narrowly wide. Whilst still inside the first quarter, there was sufficient pressure on the diminutive Aslon Oliveira to ensure his header lacked power and direction from a fine cross by Salgaocar’s skipper on the day, Gilbert Oliveira.
Thereafter the ball was mostly confined to the midfield with neither side able to create any clear cut chances. It was around the 25th minute that Gilbert found his way past his marker in the box and laid off for Varinder Singh who blasted over from close range. Salgaocar’s new Scottish recruit made his debut as he was brought on in the 34th minute to replace a bruised Umesh Harijan, that came about as a result of a clash of heads with a Sporting defender.
With the introduction of Martin, the game seemed to come to life and certainly got a lot more physical, with a number of yellow cards being flashed to players of either side. At the stroke of half time, Brian Mascarenhas stepped up to take a free-kick for the Greens 25 yards out. His wicked curling free-kick seemed to be headed for the top corner but the Sporting keeper did brilliantly to get a hand on it and parry it onto the underside of the bar. However, as the ball came back into play, Aslon Oliveira flung himself at it, to score the goal that eventually proved to be the decider.
Sporting did come out all guns blazing in the second half in search of the equaliser and almost found the back of the net in the 79th minute when an inch perfect cross from the left by Jovel Martins saw Marcus Mascarenhas’ thundering header come off the crossbar and sail harmlessly out.
However, the Greens held on for the remaining 11 minutes to clinch their first piece of silverware for the season. Mr. Peter Vaz, President, Sporting Clube de Goa handed over the Winners’ trophy to Salgaocar FC captain, Gilbert Oliveira and Mr. Shivanand V. Salgaocar, President, Salgaocar FC handed over the Runners Up trophy to the Sporting skipper, Rowlin Borges. Mr. Elvis Gomes, President, GFA was in attendance at the game and the prize distribution ceremony.