Vasco: ONGC, Mumbai gave a good account of themselves as they scored a stunning 4-1 victory over Gokulam Kerala FC in their group opener of the AWES Cup, organised by Association for the Wellbeing of Elder Sportspersons (AWES) in collaboration with the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) at Tilak Maidan, Vasco, on Saturday.
The Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) league champions led 3-0 at half time and were helped by a brace of goals from Ghanaian striker Enock Cudjoe. Himanshu Patil had opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, while Gokulam also conceded an own goal through defender Fabricio Ortiz. ONGC scored the first three goals within the first half an hour.
Substitute Brazilian striker Thiago Fernandez scored the only goal of the match for Gokulam after he converted a penalty in the 48th minute.
ONGC took the lead in the 23rd minute when Cudjoe made a superb run on the left flank and found Himanshu Patil in front of goal, who completed an easy tap-in to put his side ahead.
Two minutes later, ONGC struck again, this time through Cudjoe whose powerful volley from just outside the box found the top corner of the net.
There was more trouble for Gokulam, who played well in the I-League last season and now have ambitions of winning the title, when they conceded an own goal in the 31st minute. A free kick from captain F. Lalmuanpuia saw Gokulam’s Argentinean defender Ortiz head the ball into his own goal.
Down by three goals, Gokulam made a couple of changes and they made the match interesting by scoring their first goal just three minutes after the restart. It was Brazilian striker Thiago who found the mark from the penalty spot after Mohammed Rashid had won a penalty.
With a goal in their bag, Gokulam gained some confidence and kept hunting for more goals. They came close but their strikers frittered away some good chances.
ONGC made them pay in the end when Cudjoe capitalised on a faulty clearance and took everyone by surprise with a long ranger in the final minute of added time.