Sporting Clube de Goa and Bengaluru Football Club share spoils
Sunil Chhetri nearly stole the show as Bangalore Football Club and Sporting Clube de Goa played out a goalless draw in a round ten match of the Airtel I-League, organised by the AIFF at Bangalore Football Stadium, Bangalore on Saturday.
After the top two, namely Salgaocar and Pune FC drew 24 hours earlier, the onus was on team’s positioned third and fourth to take advantage and close the gap, but both Bangalore and Sporting Goa wanted to win as much as each other which resulted in a stalemate.
In the first session Sporting Goa moved the ball about well, but was silent in the final third of the field.
Fifteen minutes in to the second half, there was something to cheer about for Sporting Goa fans, when midfield maestro Ogba Kalu was introduced from the bench after recovering from a recent hamstring injury.
Bangalore came closest to breaking the deadlock from the unlikeliest of sources, when the Sporting Goa captain Mathew Gonsalves attempted to make a headed clearance, but the ball cannoned back of the cross bar and hooked away to safety.
Before the game Bengaluru Captain Sunil Chhetri was felicitated for becoming the national teams’ highest scorer and he nearly became the hero again.
In the fourth minute of added on time, the Sporting Goa custodian Ravi Kumar failed to gather what looked like a harmless cross and the ball ended up at Sunil’s feet with the goal at his mercy, but he was rightly flagged offside and the Flaming Oranje lived to tell the tale.
Bengaluru and Sporting Goa both have 15 points from nine encounters.
In their next three matches, Sporting Goa faces familiar faces in Churchill Brothers, Salgaocar Sports Club and Dempo Sports Club, which is sure to be a special gift for Goan Football fans to unwrap as we get into the spirit of Christmas.
It could be a happy homecoming for Sporting Clube de Goa coach Oscar Bruzon as his team take on Bengaluru FC in the Airtel I-League organised by the AIFF at Bangalore Football stadium, on Saturday. The kickoff is at 3pm and it is being televised live on Ten Action.
Bengaluru and Sporting Goa are both on 14 points from eight matches and a win for either team would give them outright 3rd spot in the league. There is not much to separate the two sides at the moment, with both teams having scored 12 goals each, although Sporting Goa has conceded one extra.
Coach Oscar joined Sporting Goa nearly twelve months ago from an Academy in Bangalore and it became somewhat of a second home for the Spaniard. “It will be great to return to Bangalore as I made a lot of friends for life there,” reasoned Oscar.
Apart from Oscar’s army of friends, many Flaming Oranje fans have also made the short journey to cheer on the team as they attempt to be the first club to defeat Bengaluru at their fortress.
Bengaluru are unbeaten in five matches at home this season, although in their last three away matches they have failed to register a win.
“I have watched a few of their matches this season, they are a good side but I believe we have enough ammunition to come away with the three points,” stated Oscar.
Bengaluru will be backed by their captain Sunil Chhetri who recently became the leading goal scorer for India, breaking Baichiung Bhutia’s record. Sean Rooney is also in good form this season, bagging six goals for Bengaluru.
Victorino Fernandes who recently made his debut for India against Nepal could play a crucial role as Dawson Fernandes is out with a knee injury. Sporting Goa’s top goal scorer Boima Jerry Karpeh has scored four in the I-League, along with twelve in the local league and could also pose a potent threat to Bengaluru.
Javier happy with the progress of SCG Academy
“I am extremely happy with the progress made by the players at the SCG Academy since its inception three months ago,” remarked Sporting Clube de Goa’s Head of Youth Development, Javier Cabrera.
The SCG Academy which is situated at Don Bosco, Panjim, caters for all the competitive playing age groups which include U-14, U-16, U-18 and U-20, with also a community programme devised for the U-10 and U-12 categories.
Javier feels that the technical ability of his U-14 players is very high and is looking forward to developing them tactically with a competitive mind set.
His short term goals are to introduce his methodology this season and make sure the players understand the technical, tactical, physical and psychological components thoroughly.
His long term goals are to be able to recommend at least two to three U-20 players each year to Sporting Clube de Goa Head Coach Oscar Bruzon. The Spaniard also believes with the hard work and determination that the older age groups are showing they could be mounting a serious challenge for the U-20 Taca Goa league and even the U-19 I-League crown next season.
“The older boys are training five days a week and I am confident they will be able to contest for major honours next season,” stated Javier.
Javier has created 45 parameters to assess each player scientifically, which will be observed and analysed every six weeks to ensure the wards are progressing at the right pace.
The Spaniard has also been organising friendly matches, as he believes it is very important for young players to be playing at least one friendly match per week.
For the younger students he hopes more festivals are organised so that they also get a feel for competition in a fun environment.
If there was one thing that Javier would like to see improved, it’s the announcement of the age group tournaments well in advance. “As a coach it is very important to have a calendar for competition. This will form the base for planning a quality week-to-week season long programme which can be tweaked accordingly,” signed off Javier.
PHOTO: Sporting Clube de Goa’s Head of Youth Development, Javier Cabrera.
Goa Pro League
Sporting Clube de Goa emerged champions of the Airtel Goa Professional League after Churchill Brothers Sports Club failed to turn up at Duler Stadium, Mapusa on Tuesday.
Sporting Clube de Goa on 27 points needed only a draw, whilst Churchill Brothers with 26 points needed a win in this last match of the league.
As per the GFA competition rules, the consequence of Churchill Brothers not turning up is that the match is to be awarded to Sporting Clube de Goa with a 3 goal margin.
All arrangements were carried out by the organizers, which included security, ambulance, ball boys, stretcher boys, stadium announcer and match officials.
Photo: Victorious Sporting Clube de Goa team along with GFA executive member Alirio Lobo.
In a grand final encounter, Sporting Clube de Goa and Churchill Brothers Sports Club will fight tooth and nail for the title, in the Airtel Goa Super League organized by the GFA at Duler Stadium, Mapusa on Tuesday. The kick off is 4pm.
Sporting Goa is currently leading the standings with 27 points from 12 games and a draw would be sufficient to see the Flaming Oranje crowned champions, for the first time since 2007.
Churchill Brothers is currently on 26 points from 12 matches and will have to go all out for a win to secure the championship.
“My players are fully focused on picking up three points and have no intention to sit back for a draw. Obviously if there were five minutes left in the game and it was still a draw only then would we think about changing our game plan,” remarked Sporting Goa Head Coach Oscar Bruzon.
Captain Mathew Gonsalves, talented defender Joyner Lourenco and leading goal scorer Boima Jerry Karpeh are all missing through suspension for Sporting Goa. Victorino Fernandes is currently on International duty, while Dawson Fernandes is out injured. To add to this Xavier Dias, Joseph Pereira and Lesten Martins are doubtful, but this hasn’t fazed Oscar.
While passing the physiotherapist’s room he joked “it’s like a hospital in here”. The Spaniard had short individual conversations with players he felt would step up and look to lead from the front and is confident his men will deliver.
“It’s going to be a beautiful day for Goan Football. We are looking forward to playing in front of a cheering packed stadium and off course winning the game,” signed off Oscar.
GOA SUPER LEAGUE
Lethal striker Boima Jerry karpeh equalised in the second half for Sporting Clube de Goa as they drew 1-1 with Dempo Sports Club in the Airtel Goa Super League, organised by the GFA at Duler Stadium, Mapusa on Saturday. Dempo led 1-0 through a Romeo Fernandes strike at the interval.
Throughout the ninety minutes Sporting Goa created many opportunities to score, but were denied by the fabulous saves of custodian Laxmikant Kattimani, who eventually walked away with the man of the match award.
Dempo knew they had to win by two clear goals due to the head to head rules, to stay in contention for the title and put up a strong display. Romeo Fernandes was particularly lively, but sadly had to be removed in the first half through injury and could not even pick up his award for goal of the match at the end.
Romeo Fernandes gave Dempo the lead in the 18th minute with a superb volley after Roberto Silva initiated the move.
After resumption, Sporting Goa came out with increased desire, but was patient in procuring the goal they were looking for.
Sporting Goa finally got the equalizer midway through the second session when they caught Dempo by surprise. Dempo had proceeded forward in large numbers for a corner, but this was intercepted and Pratesh Shirodkar sent a swift calculated pass to Jerry to notch his 16th goal of the season as he carefully rounded the goalkeeper.
After this result, Sporting Goa stays top of the league with 27 points from 12 games, Dempo move up to second with 24 points from twelve, Churchill are third with 23 points from eleven.
If Churchill can get a point against Sesa on Sunday, the title will go down to the wire on the final day when they meet the Flaming Oranje who is the other contender.
Sporting Clube de Goa: Ravi Kumar (gk), Rojen Singh, Deepak Devrani, Joyner Lourenco, Mathew Gonsalves (c), Pratesh Shirodkar, Arturo Garcia, Jovel Martins, Boima Jerry Karpeh, Lesten Martins, Mauvin Borges
Subs:(Stephene Barreto in/ Lesten Martins out “37), (Rowllin Borges/ Rojen Singh out “56), (Cajetan Fernandes/ Mauvin Borges “66)
Yellow Cards: (Boima Jerry karpeh “11), (Rojen Singh “30), (Mathew Gonsalves “70), (Joyner Lourenco “90+1)
Dempo Sports Club: Laxmikant Kattimani (c), Jessel Carneiro, Shinnosuke Honda, Selwyn Fernandes, Phabir Das, Deryl Endro, Pranoy Halder, Romeo Fernandes, Roberto Silva (c), Nickson Castanha, Joy Ferrao.
Subs: (Gabriel Fernandes in/ Romeo Fernandes out “37), (Peter Carvalho in/ Roberto Silva out “62), (Alwyn George in/ Nickson Castanha out ’74).
Yellow cards: (Pranoy Halder “21), (Roberto Silva “27)
Sporting Clube de Goa take on Dempo in crucial title tilt
GOA PRO LEAGUE
In the most anticipated Panjim derby in years, Sporting Clube de Goa face Dempo Sports Club in the Airtel Goa Super League organised by the Goa Football Association at Duler Stadium, Mapusa on Saturday. The kick off is 4 p.m.
Throughout the last decade this fixture has been characterized as a highly explosive encounter which has left a lot of sweat and tears not only on the field, but in the stands as well. Although this game is different.
This battle is not about simple bragging rights in the workplace, but a journey where one team could stay in the title race and for the other it may be curtains.
Last season Salgaocar were crowned champions, but this year it’s a three-horse race between the other three giants of Goan Football. We are observing one of the closest Goan title charges of recent seasons, where a small mistake will be punished by the highest magnitude.
Sporting Clube de Goa is currently leading the standings with 26 points, followed by Churchill Brothers who has 23 points and Dempo who also has 23 points. All three has played eleven matches.
When the two clubs met this season in the Goa Pro League, Sporting Goa edged a solitary goal victory thanks to a Jospeh Pereira strike. In the Goa Pro League last season, Dempo won 1-0, but In the Goa Super League the Flaming Oranje came away with a 4-0 victory.