Nigerian Julius Akpele’s 12th minute goal enabled St Cruz Cavelossim register a 1-0 win over NRB Vasco in the GFA Kingfisher Pro-League match played at Duler grounds, on Friday.
Vasco, who started with all their three imports in Nigerian Stephen Ottei, Nigerian Emmanuel Ejiogu and Australian German Cabrera, with Nigerian Julius Akpele only foreigner holding the defence for Cavelossim.
Though Vasco started earnestly, playing Aiken Dias and Nigerian Emmanuel Ejiogu upfront, it was St Cruz who struck in the 12th minute of play, through a superb header by Cavelossim defender Akpele, off a long free-kick by Wilton Gomes.
Vasco would have equalised almost in a similar fashion through Australian German Cabrera in the 23rd minute, but his header missed the goal by a whisker.
A gentle tap was all that was required in front of an open goal, by Silvester Carvalho but he failed to do so, from an accurate cross by Cavelossim’s Rayman Fernandes.
At the other end, German Cabrera, should have pulled up the equaliser for Vasco, but he was late to get to a through pass from skipper Jose Colaco.
A long pass by Wilton Gomes found Sesmon Fernandes who got the better of Vasco stopper back Micheal Faleiro and after covering almost 20 yards fired at the goal, which missed narrowly.
Vasco coach Subrata Bhattacharya strengthened their attack, by moving Nigerian Stephen Ottei upfront from the defence, with substitute Micheal Faleiro taking his position. Aiken Dias, German Cabrera, Jose Colaco and Rajat Chopdekar kept their strikers busy by spraying passes.
In the first five minutes of the second half, Vasco had three attempts at the rival goal with Stephen Ottei and Asim Halankar’s goal-bound shots being saved by keeper Jason Demello, while German Cabrera long ranger hit the top upright with keeper Jason straying in disbelief.
As the match progressed Vasco had two more chances to wipe out the one-goal deficit, but keeper Jason, blocked Emmanuel’s fierce close range shot and then parried Rajat Chopdekar’s cross to safety.
Vasco continued exerting pressure in search of the equaliser, but the last line of Cavelossim’s defence held by Agnelo Colaco, Julius Akpele, Mariano Fernandes, Remus Gomes and keeper Jason DeMello held on to the one-goal lead till the final hooter.
Vasco’s chances of staying in the coming league looks very dim, having played all their matches they have just four points, with three points in dispute. While Goa Velha has five points with two more matches in hand. [NT]