The final stages of the Goa Professional League sees drama over a penalty, matches getting called off, teams not taking COVID-19 tests, points getting docked, and matches getting rescheduled.
It’s been all action on and off the field.
A royal mess by the referee
The Goa Professional League match between Salgaocar FC and Calangute Association was halted at Duler Stadium, Mapusa.
There were extraordinary scenes which started in the 72nd minute. Calangute Association were awarded a penalty when Salgaocar defender Linbert Rebello handled Melvin Lobo’s effort inside the box.
Kouame Junior converted the spot kick but the referee quickly ruled out the goal for a possible infringement by a Calangute player, Akash.
Salgaocar’s coach Levino Pereira and the players protested that a free-kick should be awarded, the referee consulted his assistant and changed his earlier decision for a free-kick.
The decision did not go well with Calangute players and they protested. The match was held up for 50 minutes before being called off.
Salgaocar have now agreed to continue the game from the 73rd minute with Calangute taking the spot kick on April 30th.
Salgaocar FC who are on 17 points will also face Sesa FA in a rescheduled match on the 25th of April.
Sporting Clube de Goa who are currently on 20 points will also play their final game on the same day against Guardian Angel SC.
Dempo go top after getting awarded three points
The Goa Professional League match between Dempo Sports Club and Velsao Sports & Cultural Club at Duler Stadium was called off after Velsao SCC failed to get their Covid-19 test results.
The team arrived for the game without undergoing the mandatory Covid-19 tests as stated by the Goa Football Association.
The GFA awarded three points and a 3-0 scoreline in favor of Dempo SC who now finish their league at the top of the table on 21 points.
Velsao SCC finished their campaign on eight points.
All square in mid-table clash
A goal in the 90th minutes helped Churchill Brothers earn a point against Youth Club of Manora
The final match for both teams in the Goa Professional League was played at Rosary Ground, Navelim.
Churchill Bros went into the break 1-0 ahead courtesy Anford Fernandes (37’). In the second half, the match turned on its head when Manora scored two goals in as many minutes through Aniston Fernandes (69’) and Sweden Barbosa (71’).
Churchill Brothers equalized in the 90th minute through Myron Mendes as the teams shared the spoils.
The I-League runners ups finished in seventh place with 15 points, while the debutants, Manora, finished one spot below with 14 points.
Sesa face six points deduction
According to a decision taken by the GFA Executive Committee, six points have been deducted from Sesa FA’s points tally after two teams – Youth Club of Manora and Panjim Footballers had lodged a protest against SFA for fielding an ‘ineligible player’.
The teams alleged that Omkar Shetgaonkar was named in their match line-up without undergoing mandatory 14 days quarantine.
Sesa is destined to get relegated as they only managed five points in the campaign.
Sesa FA score late to salvage a point
Before the decisions were taken, Sesa FA clung on to a point with a last-gasp equaliser from Cajetan Fernandes in a 2-2 draw against FC Goa at the Duler Stadium, Mapusa.
Sesa went ahead through Shajam P (14’) before Christy Davis equalized for FC Goa before the break.
Kapil Hoble scored in the 75th minute to give FC Goa the lead. The three points were in the bag for the development team before Hoble brought down Faheez Mohammed in the box.
Cajetan Fernandes stepped up to take the spot kick. While FC Goa’s keeper Tiwari blocked the attempt, the rebound fell to Cajetan, who scored into the empty net to make it 2-2.
FC Goa finished their season in fifth spot with 11 points.
Sesa FA pip Panjim Footballers
Earlier in the week, Minesh Kunkolkar scored the only goal of the match as Sesa FA recorded a 1-0 win over Panjim Footballers at the Duler Stadium, Mapusa.
Sesa FA took the lead in the 19th minute when Myron Pereira connected with Sameer Kashyap’s free-kick.
Panjim keeper Preston Rego failed to collect cleanly and Minesh tapped in from close to give his team the lead and the three points.
Panjim Footballers end their campaign on 13 points.
Vasco SC end GPL campaign on a high
Vasco Sports Club ended their Goa Professional League campaign with a 2-1 win over FC Goa at the Duler Stadium, Mapusa.
Vasco’s Denil Rebello scored an injury time match-winner after Mathew Colaco had cancelled FC Goa’s Delton Colaco’s strike.
FC Goa went ahead in the 66th minute when Delton Colaco beat Vasco custodian Sanju Thapa from close.
Vasco SC responded in the next minute, Denil Rebello set Mathew Colaco through on goal who slotted past the keeper to complete the counter attack.
The winning goal was scored in stoppage time when Francis Fernandes set up Denil Rebello inside the box and a composed finish rounded up a comeback win.
Vasco SC finished the league campaign with 16 points in sixth place.
(With inputs from The Navhind Times, The Times of India, and Herald Goa)