Sporting Clube de Goa’s chances to progress in the Durand Cup 2016 was handed a major blow when they went down 2 – 1 in a key encounter against Army Green. Peecee (53′ (P) & 57′) scored both the goals for Army Green while Marcus Mascarenhas (83′) headed in a late consolation goal for Sporting.
The first half witnessed very little action. Both teams resorted to a compact defense giving no space for the opponent forwards to operate. Sporting playing with a 4 – 1 – 4 – 1 formation managed to dominate most of the first half. The midfield combination of Glan Martins & Cajetan Fernandes completed numerous passes contributing a lion share of the possession. Marcus Mascarenhas and Ganesh Thakur made some good runs on either flanks trying to penetrate the Army Green defense and finding their hit man Victorino Fernandes. The Army Green’s defense also had an exceptional day on the pitch clearing almost all of Sportings attempts to reach the nets. The best opportunity of the first half came n the 43rd minute when Victorino beat the off-side trap successfully and made a dash coming head on against the keeper but placed the ball inches wide. The first half ended goalless.
The second half saw Army Green step up the offence. Their attacking play opened up spaces in the Sporting defense allowing their forwards to get into the box. In the 53rd minute Army Green won a penalty after a shot hit Loveday Enyinnaya’s arm. The penalty was converted by Peecee (Jersey No 9). Within 5 minutes Peecee came back to haunt Sporting defense when he found himself at the end of a brilliant cross from the left tapping it in to double the lead for Army Green. The following quarter saw a desperate Sporting throw everything they had trying to sneak one in but Army Green had shut shop with a well organised backline. Late in the 83rd minute Sporting won a free kick which was delivered well by Cajetan Fernandes to find Marcus who slotted a header giving some hope to the Goan side, but a resilient Army defense killed any further chances being created neatly to see off the clock.