Sporting Clube de Goa knocked out defending champions Dempo Sports Club 8-7 via sudden death tiebreaker to move into 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 Tuesday.
The teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time. Dempo took the lead in the 54th minute through Jessel Carneiro while Sporting Clube equalised in the 57th minute through a brilliant goal from Brandon Gomes.
In the tiebreaker that followed, Sporting Clube missed the first penalty taken by Alesh Sawant but converted the next seven through Cajetan Fernandes, Marcus Mascarenhas, Ganesh Thakur, Clive Miranda, Brandon Gomes, Assumption Soares and captain Victorino Fernandes.
Dempo were in an advantageous position, first taking the lead in normal time and then the tiebreaker when Velito D’Cruz and Suraj Hadkonkar converted the first two penalties. Naveen Mendes missed the third penalty, and while Jessel Carneiro, Chatur Naik, Joaquim Abranches, Olan Chandran all converted, Mario Mascarenhas missed the eighth penalty for Dempo.
Sporting Clube will now meet the winners of the second semi-final between ONGC (Mumbai) and Salgaocar FC for the final showdown on Saturday, September 15 at 6.30pm.
There was hardly anything to separate the two teams in an end-to-end contest where both teams created and missed chances.
After a barren first session, Dempo took the lead in the 54th minute when they launched a counter attack and Abranches crossed on the left for Jessel who finished with an angular left footer. Goalkeeper Melroy Fernandes thought he had the angle covered but the ball bounced awkwardly and sailed into the goal.
Sporting Clube were stunned by the setback but managed to equalise only three minutes later. It was a wonderful strike from Brandon who scored with a long ranger from almost 40 yards out. Brandon had got the opportunity after the Dempo defence had cleared a corner kick from Cajetan Fernandes.
Both teams then missed chances with Assumption’s long ranger hitting the crossbar and sailing out of play. Dempo also missed with Abranches hitting straight into the hands of the goalkeeper.