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Delbert Fernandes helps AIFF U-19 Boys win fourth match in a row

AIFF Elite Academy

AIFF Elite Academy

Substitute Delbert Fernandes notched a last-gasp winner as the AIFF Elite Academy secured a fourth successive U-19 I-League victory in the Goa Zone with a 1-0 win over Salgoacar FC at Cuncolim Ground on Wednesday.

In search of a win to shoot ahead of SESA FA and to clinch second position in the points table, hosts Salgoacar began confidently and chased an early opener with Steffen Fernandes slashing across the AIFF’s goalmouth.

That set the tone for a first half in which the hosts did majority of pressing, even though they found the AIFF’s defence well-founded. Certainly, away goalkeeper Sayak Barai had only one save to make in the first 45 minutes denying Jason Barbosa shot from right.

The home side attempted to break the deadlock twice on a free kick awarded from a scoring range, but it was directed straight into the hands of Barai on both the occasions.

At the end of first half the score was 0-0.

The Elite Academy Boys began the second half untiringly on the front foot with Delbert instrumental in creating forays. The boys in blue came closest when Rakesh Oram clipped the post on Robinson Singh’s through pass.

Committed to attack, cracks began to appear in the defence, with Liston Colaco swiftly breaking in to the AIFF’s defence, only to lash it over.

The dry spell of runs in front of the goal ended in the 82nd minute, when Delbert made a firm contact with his head on Lalramzauva’s corner to direct it past the rival keeper.

Salgoacar responded well but saw two efforts saved by Barai. Midfielder Klins Mendes’ long-ranger was palmed away and two minutes later and Liston Colaco was denied from a point blank range.

At the full time whistle Delbert Fernandes’s solitary goal helped the AIFF EA to continue their winning streak in the U-19 showpiece event.

AIFF Elite academy will be facing SESA FA In their next away Fixture on January 25.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)