A youthful Salgaocar FC continued with their superb showing as they defeated ONGC 4-2 via the tiebreaker to enter the final of the AWES Cup, organised by the Association for the Wellbeing of Elder Sportspersons in collaboration with the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) at Tilak Maidan, Vasco, on Wednesday.
Salgaocar will now face Sporting Clube de Goa in the final on Saturday, September 15, at 6.30pm.
After both teams failed to break the deadlock in the first 45 minutes, Salgaocar took the lead through Devendra Murgaonkar in the 58th minute. Salgaocar believed they would win in regulation time, only for Ghanaian striker Enock Cudjoe to score the equaliser in the 84th minute.
In the tiebreaker, Mackroy Peixoto, Sanson Pereira, Selwyn Miranda and Denil Rebello scored for Salgaocar while ONGC fumbled after Harkirat Singh had converted the first spot-kick. Salgaocar goalkeeper Jaison D’Mello made two consecutive saves in the tiebreaker to stop the attempts of F Lalwuanpuia and Nitesh Monda to give Salgaocar a terrific win.
Salgaocar, who have decided to have a young team this season, did not seem to be overawed with the opposition who had two foreign players in their ranks and had won all three of their matches in the group stage.
The youthful side used their speed to good effect and pushed their opponents on the back foot early in the game. They enjoyed the edge and were unlucky not to move ahead as Devendra missed in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper and Mackroy’s shot was fisted over by goalkeeper Bilifang Narzary.
Salgaocar continued to attack with Ronaldo Oliveira going close and then Devendra saw his attempt being blocked by the goalkeeper.
Salgaocar finally broke the deadlock in the 58th minute when Sanson Pereira’s freekick saw the keeper fumble and Devendra pounced on the opportunity.
With time fast running out, ONGC pressed hard for the equaliser and were successful in the 84th minute when Ghanaian striker Enock Cudjoe headed a corner from Jagdeep Singh straight into the goal.
In the tiebreaker that followed, Salgaocar kept their cool and sealed a place in the final.