Goa: Sporting opened their U-20 TACA Goa campaign with a comfortable 2 – 0 win against Churchill Bros at Duler Stadium, Mapusa on Thursday. Daryl Costa (73’) & Harshad Naik (88’ P) got on the score-sheet for the young Flaming Oranje.
Sporting choose a 4-4-2 formation with Daryal Costa and Perryson Fernandes in the front. Churchill were the first to get some goal mouth action in the 13th minute when Leander D’Cunha and Sandeep Subba got back to back shots which were judged well by the Sporting keeper Sherwin Da Cunha. For the larger part of first half both teams restricted the play in the mid field. It was in the final quarter Sporting exploited the gaps in Churchill defense and intensified their attack. Harshad Naik and Daryal Costa combined well to create some good moves. Sporting’s first real opportunity came late in the 38th minute when they won a free kick and missed our marginally. Following this Daryl Costa made a good run on the right to set up Perryson but the latter failed to capitalize. In the 42nd minute Harshad made a brilliant run taking on two defenders but placed the shot straight to keeper. The game stayed goalless at the break.
The second half started on a cautious note and lacked any real action until the 58th minute when Leander of Churchill received his marching orders for his second bookable offense. With the one man advantage Sporting went full throttle trying to find the opening goal. In the 63 minute Sporting’s Shawn Noronha almost headed one in when he latched on to a well directed corner from the left, but the ball went out brushing the post. Soon in the 65th minute Daryl served a ball on the platter for Snedden Fernandes who shot straight into the keepers hands. The decisive goal finally came in the 73rd minute when Aliston Camotio gave a promising pass to Daryl who was having an exceptional day on the field; the latter rushed forward beating the offside trap and chipped the keeper to score a wonderful goal putting Sporting in the drivers’ seat. In less than 5 minutes Aliston once again sent in a lethal pass but failed to find an Orange shirt at the end of it. Towards the final minutes Churchill defender Joel Fernandes got down Snedden in the box, the resulting penalty was calmly converted by Harshad putting end to any fightback by Churchill and ensuring the full 3 points for Sporting. Speaking about the victory Sporting coach Savio Vaz said “The first match is always important, this win will definitely be a good motivation for the boys and am sure they will keep improving in the upcoming matches.”