23/09/2015 ….. It was a tale of missed opportunities for Salgaocar FC as they were guilty of spurning chances aplenty, to end up with their second successive goalless draw in the on-going Goa Professional League played at Duler against old foes Vasco SC. With this draw the Greens have accumulated 5 points from 3 matches while Vasco have the same number of points having played an additional game.
The notable absentees from Salgaocar’s starting line-up from their earlier two encounters were Leny Pereira at the heart of dense and Scottish medio Martin Scott as coach Malcolm Thomson opted to field several of the younger players who haven’t had a run out yet in the league. Jay Ganesh was handed his first start of the season and Abhijit Das replaced Bruno Colaco in goal for the Greens. Salgaocar made a lively beginning and could have shot into the lead as early as the 4thminute but striker Myron Borges blasted over from hand-shaking distance from a beautifully whipped in free-kick from the right by Brian Mascarenhas. Just after the 10 minute mark, Kingslee Fernandes who was full of running for Vasco SC and at the heart of the Vasco midfield then probably had the best chance to put Vasco ahead as he side footed a cross from John Fernandes, but Abhijit Das recovered well after being wrong footed to parry the ball away for a corner.
Salgaocar’s captain Rocus Lamare found himself in the thick of things as he tried to find the top corner from just inside the box after the ball landed at his feet off a headed clearance from a Gilbert free-kick but the ball sailed agonisingly over. Myron was the culprit yet again after he failed to meet a delightful cross from Rosario Mendes from the right. The Greens were inching ever closer to breaking the deadlock and almost found the back of the net at the stroke of the half hour mark as Saran’s left footer brought out the best of Shilton Fernandes in the Vasco goal.
Just a couple of minutes from the breather Pawan was unable to get any power from inside the 6-yard box to trouble the Vasco custodian. Just as it seemed that both sides were headed into the break level, the Greens created three golden opportunities but failed to bulge the net. Gilbert’s shot was somehow scrambled away and then Rosario blasted wide after a strong run saw him get into a good shooting position in the box. The Greens still had time to head up the field before the hooter and both Jason and Pawan failed to get on the end of a teasing cross from Brian, when all that was essentially required was a tap in.
In the second period, Salgaocar looked to build patiently and had Vasco on the back foot early on with a flurry or corners but were unable to trouble the scorers. The game however did come to life in the final 15 minutes when both sides looked to go for the elusive winner. First up Shubham Desai found the ball at his feet with the Salgaocar keeper beaten off a cross from Aghin Ashokan but the defense were somehow able to clear their lines. Minutes later a mistake from Pawan at the top of the box saw substitute Agnelo D’Souza through on goal but blasted wide. Agnelo was presented another glorious opportunity in the 85th but failed to hit the target.
The game did get a lot more physical during the second period and a lunging tackle by Salgaocar substitute Charles Miranda along the by-line saw the referee send him off with 2 minutes still left on the clock. Eventually, neither side was able to break the deadlock and walked away with a point apiece.