Salgaocar, Margao play goalless draw

Salgaocar Football Club and Margao Sports Club played a tame goalless draw to split points in their GFA Professional League match played at Nehru Stadium, here on Tuesday.

With no goals coming, the teams made a dash in a last ditch effort—one on each side in the dying minutes of the game, which included five minutes of added-on time. The young goalkeepers of both the sides—Bruno Colaco of Margao and Albino Gomes of Salgaocar carried the day for their sides.

There was nothing to write home about the match except the fact that both the teams fielded young players with average age of not more than 24 years and the youngsters delighted in their spirit, showcasing sparkling skills in ball possession and passing. However, one thing the teams failed to display was the firepower and imagination to score goals once they were in the box after all the hard work of carrying the ball to the place where one is usually able to score.

Most part of the game was played in the midfield and it was a mediocre affair though the passing game of the teams was pleasing to the eye. Both teams depended on short passes and did take the ball into the danger area with fast moves but the players’ shooting abilities left much to be desired. In fact, there were only three shots at the goal—two of which were taken by Salgaocar. All this goalmouth action happened in the second session of play after an insipid first-half.

Salgaocar’s first serious attack came midway into the second-half when Dada Nabeel headed strongly off a cross from the right but Bruno brought off a spectacular save. The match then wore on with some lacklustre display and the play was confined to the midfield as was the case in the first-half with no shots at the goal from either side.

However, there was feisty action in the added-on time as Salgaocar created two good moves while Margao also had one decent chance. Salgaocar’s under-20 striker Brian Mascarenhas took possession of the ball on the left with only the rival keeper to beat but the youngster ballooned the chance over the bar as goalkeeper Bruno charged out and narrowed the angle.

In the next minute, there was a counter move at the other end when Margao had a stinging effort from the top of the box saved by Salgaocar’s young keeper Albino, who leapt high and punched the ball out for an abortive flagkick. The move was the last piece of action in the match as soon referee Sharad Naik sounded the long whistle.

While Margao played with all local players, Salgaocar had three young I-League starters in their ranks—Beevan D’Mello, Brian Mascarenhas and Royston D’Souza. Margao fielded two under-20 players—Vijay Rego and Mario Fernandes—who gave a good account of themselves. All in all, both the teams were equally balanced and matched each other well in all the departments of the game. [NT]