Milagres rally to beat Penha; UCT overcome spirited Carmona

Milagres Sports Club, Mapusa rallied to thrash Penha de Franca Sports Club 3-1 in a GFA Second Division football league match at Sangolda ground, Friday. Franca led 1-0 at half time.

Franca got a dream start as they surged ahead in the fifth minute after Francisco Fernandes, off a counter-attack, set up Shubham Shetgaonkar inside the box, who shot past Milagres goalkeeper Rowell Pinto.

Stung by the set back, Milagres rearranged quickly with good short passes.

In the 12th minute, Milagres’ Atish Mirazkar made a promising run in the danger zone and essayed a cross to Brian Fernandes, who could not get his foot on it with only the rival custodian at his mercy.

Referee Sainath Haldankar booked Francisco for his tackle on Milagres’ Krishna Chougle in the 32nd minute.

Three minutes later, Franca could have doubled their lead after Francisco moved dangerously inside the box but Milagres’ Shailesh Miskin came up with a timely tackle to deny Francisco a clear chance at goal.

Just before the lemon break, Milagres came close to equalizing but Mubaiz Sheikh’s long ranger was tipped off by Franca goalkeeper Naved Almeida.

After resumption, Milagres started attackingly in search of the equalizer and were rewarded for their efforts in the 48th minute through Krishna’s shot that left the rival custodian stunned.

In the 55th minute, Mubaiz’s long ranger was saved by Naved as Milagres started to enjoy the lion’s share of ball possession.

Subsequently, Mubaiz essayed a dangerous cross which found Atish, who tapped in from close range to make it 2-1 in the 60th minute.

Franca were trying hard to get back into the game but Francisco’s and Vardhan’s efforts were blocked by Rowell in the 67th and 69th minutes.

In the next minute, Milagres scored their third after Brian sent a perfect cross to Mubaiz, who headed in.

Krishna could have inflated the scoreline in the 75th minute but his shot hit the crosspiece from hand-shaking distance.

Franca could have pulled one back in the dying minutes, but Fraizer Picardo’s header was blocked by Rowell.

At Dr Remigio Pinto ground Taleigao, Carambolim Sports Club crushed St Sebastian Sports Club, St Cruz 4-0. The score was 3-0 at half time.

A blistering hat-trick from Alvito Miranda in the first half and a goal by Josley in the second session helped Carambolim to get back to winning ways as they dominated their opponents with their attacking football.

Meanwhile SAI, Ponda got a walkover as Sporting SC did not report for the U-18 match at Duler Stadium, Mapusa.

Our Margao correspondent adds — United Club of Telaulim (UCT) survived a spirited fight back to overcome Carmona Sports Club 2-1 in Salcete Zone GFA Second Division League at Curtorim ground, Friday. The teams were tied 1-1 at half time.

UCT began well and took the lead when striker Daulat Dessai slotted past Carmona goalkeeper Johnson Bhagat in the 29th minute off a well measured cross from Paxton Gomes.

Stunned by the deficit, Carmona regrouped and created umpteen forays into the rival territory. Their efforts materialized in the 35th minute when striker Jorex Fernandes headed home off a cross from Desmond Fernandes to put his team on equal terms.

After the equalizer, Carmona gained rhythm and created a couple of fine chances but UCT defender marshaled by Wilfred Pires and Jordeel Gomes stood tall in protecting their citadel.

Post resumption, UCT created a handful of opportunities and nearly struck but Carmona goalkeeper Johnson rose to the occasions and protected his citadel.

At the other end, Carmona did not lag behind and nearly surged ahead but midfielder Neil D’Cruz’s feeble shot went into the safe hands of UCT goalkeeper Sachin Ashtekar.

Midway in the second session, Carmona were unlucky when midfielder Neil’s snap shot was fisted away for an abortive flag kick by Carmona goalkeeper Sachin.

UCT netted the match-winner in the 80th minute when striker Paxton Gomes’ rasping shot deflected off goalkeeper Johnson and the rebound was slotted into the net by Paxton.

Stung by the blow, Carmona went all-out in search of the equalizer with striker Jorax Fernandes tormenting the rivals but he was thwarted by rival defenders with neat tackles. Later, Jorax’s snap shot was collected by UCT goalkeeper Ashtekar.

With this win, UCT collected nine points from three matches and are at the top of the points table while Carmona have five points from four matches. [H]