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Sporting Clube begin campaign with win

Mapusa: Sporting Clube de Goa got the better of Velsao Sports and Cultural Club 2-1 in the inaugural match of the Goa Professional League match organised by GFA, played under floodlights at Duler stadium, here on Wednesday.

Last year’s winners Sporting started the proceeding brightly and were leading 1-0 at half time through Glan Martins who saw his well struck shot deflect of his teammate Peter Carvalho to find the nets after Velsao defender failed in clearing the ball from Alesh Sawant corner in the very 6th minute.

Newly promoted Velsao in this year’s league should have levelled terms in the 24th minute when Sporting’s Clive Miranda brought down Joseph Pereira just inside the penalty box as referee Prasad Surlakar without any delay pointed to the penalty spot.

Michael Silva took the responsibility of the spot kick but the Sporting keeper Melroy was equal to the task stretching all his hand to stop the ball which hit the post and rebound into play.

Melroy Fernandes was once again called into action in the 32nd minute when a 30-yard strike by Velsao’s Jesloy Moniz was brilliantly tipped over for a corner by the Sporting keeper.

Sporting owe their victory to keeper Melroy for keeping them in the match when he once again stopped a blistering right footer by Velsao’s Myron Borges within from a close range.

However, the Sporting keeper was finally beaten on resumption of play when he blocked Joseph Pereira’s strike from inside the 6-yard box only to find the ball get to unmarked Flan Gomes who without any further delay tapped the ball into the goal to make it 1-1 to the delight of their travelling supporters.

Sporting could have consolidated their lead but were twice denied by the brilliant Velsao’s custodian Suresh Lamani who first parried away Alesh Sawant’s well struck volley and then kept out Glan Martins’ goal bound strike from finding the back of the net.

Sporting’s Marcus Mascarenhas dealt a hammer blow to Velsao players in the 80th minute by scoring the match-winner through a well-directed header off a free kick by Alesh Sawant to make it 2-1 to give full points for his team and being their campaign on a positive note. [H]

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