Calangute Association threw Group A of the 1st AWES Cup wide open after registering a hard-fought 2-1 victory over ONGC, Mumbai in their concluding league clash at the Duler Football Stadium, Mapusa, on Tuesday.
Calangute had lost the opening clash against Dempo Sports Club by a solitary goal and faced a must-win game against the visitors from Mumbai. Myron Fernandes gave Calangute a surprise lead at the stroke of half time, and even though ONGC equalised through substitute Prathamesh Kasre in the 57th minute, Mayur Shelar’s opportunistic strike in the 82nd minute keeps them alive in the tournament.
All three teams can qualify for the semifinals from group A. Only one team qualifies from the group and Dempo should be favourites since they now need only a draw. ONGC will need to win by a two-goal margin against Dempo to qualify while Calangute will hope ONGC can upset Dempo with a narrow solitary goal victory.
ONGC will be disappointed that they did not pick anything from this game despite looking the better team for some parts, particularly in the first session when they had chances but did not capitalise. Arjun Nayak and Himanshu Patil were both impressive for the visitors in the opening half and should have given their team the lead.
At the other end, Myron was the biggest threat and true to form scored the opening goal at the stroke of half time. Myron had missed a good chance midway into the game when he mistimed his shot from inside the box. But when another opportunity came his way with Omkar More delivering an inch-perfect cross inside the goalmouth, Myron was on hand to tap the ball inside the goal.
ONGC were determined to wipe off the deficit in the second session and they tasted success in the 57th minute. A free-kick from just outside the box saw F Lalmuanpuia’s attempt creating confusion inside the danger zone. Calangute failed to clear the danger and Prathamesh made no mistake from handshaking distance.
Both teams then put on a scintillating display with end-to-end football keeping the spectators on their toes but Calangute eventually had the last laugh. In the 82nd minute, a shot from just outside the box by Joston Perreira hit the goalpost and rebounded back where Mayur was alert to turn it past the goalkeeper.
All three teams will now have to wait for the result of the concluding group A clash between Dempo and ONGC on Saturday to know if they make it to the last-four stage of the competition.
Today’s guests of honour were former Sesa Goa stars Ernest Braganza and Isaac D’Souza.
FC Goa vs Viva FC Chennai
Kick off: 16.00 IST
Venue: Duler Football Stadium, Mapusa