Sporting Clube de Goa put up a brilliant performance to stay alive in the Durnad Cup 2016 as they thrashed Minerva Academy 5 – 0 in their last group stage match here at Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi. Glan Martins (14’) opened the score board for Sporting while Cajetan Fernandes (19’), George D’Souza (73’), Alber Gonsalves (90’+3) and Marcus Mascarenhas (90’+6) got on the score sheet for the Goan side.
Sporting Clube de Goa produced yet another clinical first half performance with some quick attacking football. Gaffer Mateus Costa made two changes to the previous side that beat Gangtok, Alber Gonsalves came in place of Victorino Fernandes while George D’Souza came in place of Ponif Vaz who was down with fever. Costa adopted the 4-2-3-1 formation with Marcus Mascarenhas leading the attack. Sporting started off well as Ganesh Thakur and Marcus made some good moves early in the match. The show stopper was Glan Martins 14th minute thunderbolt from about 22 yards off. Alber Gonsalves sighted Martins with some room to shoot and send in a low cross towards him. Glan Martins charged forward and struck it perfectly to land it in the top right corner of the nets. Soon in the 19th minute Cajetan Fernandes doubled the lead with a brilliant free kick from the edge of the box placing it well at the corner giving the Minerva keeper no chance to react. After this Minerva tried getting back in the game as Manandeep Singh and Jaison Vales created some good moves among themselves but failed to break down the Sporting defense. The Sporting keeper Ravi Kumar had an exceptional day in between the sticks. The score stayed 2 – 0 at the half time.
The second half saw both sides going for the goal right from the kick off. Minerva players gave in their best but couldn’t get past the experienced back four of Sporting. In the 73rd minute Sporting won a free kick close to the centre line, George D’Souza who took an aim at the goal and managed to beat the keeper making it 3 – 0 in favour of Sporting. Minerva forward Manandeep Singh tried hard but couldn’t produce the match changing performance. Sporting added two more in the injury time when Alber managed to head in a George free kick while Quan Gomes set up Marcus with a brilliant cross making it 5 – 0 in favour of Sporting. With this win Sporting climb to 2nd position in Group A with 7 points and a healthy goal difference of +7 but will have to wait for a favourable result (i.e. Draw) of the match between Army Green & Gangtok Himalayan which will be held on 7th Sept (Wednesday) to confirm their semi-final breath.