Salgaocar FC oust Dempo SC to win GFA U-18 title

Salgaocar FC beat Dempo SC to win GFA U-18 title
Salgaocar FC are the GFA U-18 champions
Salgaocar FC’s juniors are doing the club’s and their own reputations no harm whatsoever, this after they clinched the GFA U-18 title with a 3-1 win over Dempo SC played at Duler Football Stadium with a game to spare. What makes the triumph even more impressive is the fact that one of the participating teams in the league was the AIFF Elite Academy U-18 team, essentially the national U-18 team. The trophy is the third annexed by the juniors, this after the U-19s had earlier won the GFA Third Division title and the U-14s were crowned GFA U-14 1st Division league Champions.

Dempo took the lead in the 35th. minute when a free-kick from just outside the box saw the Dempo striker attack the ball and head firmly past an advancing Jeet Gupta in the Salgaocar goal. The goal seemed to spur the Salgaocar lads and the Greens were level in the 41st minute when, Clyde Fernandes played the ball for Lalit Teriyal on the left who made a strong run to the by line and pulled back for Liston Colaco who let fly. The Dempo custodian was unable to collect the effort cleanly and off the rebound Denil Rebello was at hand to make it 1 - 1.

Upon resumption, Salgaocar’s juniors took complete charge of proceedings and mesmerised their opponents with quick short passes. Teenage sensation Liston Colaco who has already made quite a name for himself already, took off on one of his mazy runs. After beating several defenders, and with only the keeper at his mercy, he was clumsily brought down from behind. The referee did however play a clever advantage as the ball rolled to Rufflan Fernandes who tapped in from close to give his side the lead for the first through the course of the evening. Salgaocar were unlucky not to further increase the lead as the upright denied Arif Pathan and Liston in the 48th and 55th minute respectively. The Greens however sealed the match and the title in the 65th minute when Lalit got at the end of a Denil Rebello cross and his chip from a tight angle found an unmarked Rufflan in front of an empty net for the latter to score probably the easiest brace of his playing career thus far.

The Greens will be felicitated and handed the trophy when they play the same opponents in the return leg on the 28th in the final game of the season at Cansaulim ground.
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