Joshua Vessaokar goal gifts Companeroes SC a 1-0 win over KSA

Companeroes SC registered their maiden win in the Elite Division since being promoted with a 1-0 win over Karnataka Sporting Association in an MDFA league match played at the Cooperage on Wednesday.

The game began at a frantic pace with both teams attacking at either end to gain the all important lead. Companeroes defence managed to keep KSA’s in form striker Ahiri Uchela at bay by clearing their lines from Ryan Kolarikkal’s continuous penetrative crosses from the left. The KSA defence on the other hand were caught surprised as they had to deal with an unknown measure in Companeroes debutant & new foreign recruit Steven Olyevuchi, his speed and strength proved to be menacing on quite a few occasions, early in the first half.

Karnataka Sporting were caught on the back foot midway through the first half, when a shot by Reed Santos clearly came off the hand of one of their defenders inside the box, the referee made no hesitation in pointing to the spot. KSA had their goalkeeper Kishen Sulegai to thank, after he pulled of a brilliant save from Jardin Braganza’s penalty kick, diving to his right.

The 2nd half saw KSA  pressing higher with Souvaid Ansari and Valentine Pereira pulling the strings from midfield. Ahiri Uchela did well to keep Companeroes custodian Wren D’Abreo on his toes, after he managed to make some attempts on goal despite close attention from Fazil Sheikh. The Nigerian was handed a brilliant opportunity in the 60th minute when he was put through the middle by Tarique Ansari but it was an outstretched Wren D’Abreo’s fingertips that denied KSA the lead.

Companeroes got back into the game with some consistent passing in the midfield as Joshua Vessaokar and Reed Santos combined well to take the Red and Yellow attack forward. Their efforts paid dividends in the 74th minute when Steven Olyevuchi latched on to a loose ball outside the KSA box, after a cross from the left was not properly dealt with. Steven’s square pass was perfectly met by Joshua, who made a clever run into the box and unleashed a rasping shot with his left foot. The goal came as a big boost to Companeroes talisman Joshua Vessaokar, making his return to the team after a year’s absence.

KSA tried to claw their way back into the game dominating possession and making attempts at the Companeroes goal but were denied on every occasion. The frustration took to them as Ahiri Uchela was shown the red card for an off the ball incident in the 80th minute, when he deliberately elbowed Fazil Sheikh in the face. The task got all the more difficult for KSA, being down to 10 men. Companeroes Nigerian import Steven Olyevuchi had a glorious opportunity to grab his debut goal and further the lead in the closing stages but was unfortunate to see his effort come off the upright with KSA keeper Kishen Sulegai rooted to the spot.

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