Salgaocar FC will hope to spring another surprise as they face the might of Sporting Clube de Goa in 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 Saturday.
The final will kick off at 6.30pm and will be preceded by a Legends Match which will see several of Goa’s stars of yesteryears take to the field again. The Legends Match will also see the involvement of former India captains IM Vijayan and Renedy Singh as special invitees and will commence at 4pm.
It is the final which will be most anticipated after Salgaocar’s stunning run up to the final. The young side has already stunned FC Pune City and ONGC on their way to the final and will have reasons to believe they can go the way, even if it means outsmarting the Goa Pro League champions.
On paper, Sporting Clube is the stronger of the two teams but, unlike Salgaocar, have already tasted defeat. They lost against ONGC in the concluding league clash.
Both teams needed the luck of the tiebreaker to go through in the semi-finals. While Sporting Clube edged out defending champions Dempo Sports Club, Salgaocar defeated Mumbai champions ONGC also in the tiebreaker.
The organisers have instituted awards in memory of sporting legends who have passed away in the last one year. While the winners trophy has been named after Salgaocar defender Candido Abreu, the runners-up trophy has been instituted in honour of another Salgaocar defender and manager, Leopoldo Fernandes.
The most valuable player will walk away with the Vassu Chodankar Trophy while the best young player will receive the Ashok Mahambre Trophy. Mauricio Pinto trophy (highest scorer), Jaisinh Maganlal Trophy (fair play) and Jose Manuel Esteves Trophy (best voluntary organiser) are some of the other awards that are up for grabs.