FC Goa strolled to a comfortable 2-1 victory over Viva FC Chennai in their second game of the AWES Cup at the Duler Football Stadium in Mapusa. FC Goa skipper Liston Colaco opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a superb curling strike. Anoop VC equalized just before half time. Hayden Fernandes, playing in midfield scored a long range screamer to win it for the Gaurs half way through the second period.
The away side started the match on the front foot as they moved the ball around and drew defenders out of position. It didn’t take long, however, for the Gaurs to settle down and get into the game. Liston had the first chance of the game but his shot was saved well by the Chennai keeper. The Gaurs looked comfortable in possession and threatened on the counter attack.
Yasir Mohammed was pulling the strings for the Gaurs in midfield and put a number of balls through the lines for the wingers to attack. His 11th-minute cross found the head of striker Aaren D’Silva but he was unable to keep his header on target. The central midfield partnership of Hayden Fernandes and Kingslee Fernandes were causing a number of issues for the away side who were finding it difficult to get the ball behind them.
At the other end, Chennai striker Romaric’s pace and power was causing the home side defenders a few issues. Liston’s 22nd minute free kick from the edge of the box looked destined for the near top corner but the keeper had other ideas as he parried the ball away expertly. The breakthrough finally came in the 30th minute when Jason Barboza pumped a brilliant ball forward towards the left wing where Liston brought it down inside the box and curled it past the keeper to send his side into the lead. A couple of minutes later, Hayden let one fly from distance but the ball ricocheted off the frame of the goal.
Against the run or play, however, the away side managed to find an equalizer. Anoop VC ran on to a good through pass on the left and found himself one on one with the on rushing keeper. He promptly pushed the ball past him to level the score. Liston had the chance to put the Gaurs back in front almost immediately but his shot failed to trouble the goalkeeper.
FC Goa started the second half in similar fashion and took control of the game early. Yasir’s through ball almost found Liston immediately but the winger’s shot was blocked. In the 58th minute, FC Goa had a penalty claim shot down after the skipper was brought down in the box but the referee waved for play to continue.
In a bid to make a change, Head coach Derrick Perreira brought on Brian Faria for Jason Barbosa to shore up the right side. The Gaurs found themselves a goal to the good on the 70th minute mark. A Liston corner fell kindly for Hayden who smashed in a long range effort at the near post, giving the keeper no chance.
Liston had yet another chance to increase the lead a few minutes later but he couldn’t direct his shot on target from Faria’s cross. As the game petered out to a close, Saviour Gama dashed into the box and squared the ball for Aaren D’silva who was unable to score. FC Goa eventually held out for a comfortable win.