Road to the play-offs: FC Goa’s future stars

While the senior Gaurs have made it to the play-offs of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2015, FC Goa are already creating ripples to form waves in the years to come “.

02 December2015FC Goa’s Grassroots Development Programme of this season that started in February this year is beginning to show its results in the form of the U-14 team who recently qualified for the play-offs of the 2015/16 Goa Football Association (GFA)Under-14 League.

The FC Goa team stormed into the play-offs by beating Fr. Agnel Pilar 2-0 on the day Zico’s men thrashed Kerala Blasters FC 5-1 to blast their way into the semi-finals of the Indian Super League (ISL) season 2.

The U-14 team coached by Gavin Araujo finished their engagement in Group D of the all Goa competition as top team with 22 points from 8 games.

“I thank the FC Goa management for taking good care of the team and providing us with the best of facilities for training and also good training attire,” saidthe U-14 team’s head coach.

Rayan Menezes out jumped everybody else to head home the opener before goalkeeper Saheel Shaik produced a wonderful save from a penalty that was awarded to the opponents, while Asfin Pinto enforced an own goal with a beautiful cross in victory over Fr. Agnel.

On account of finishing first in their group, FC Goa will be directly seeded to play the quarterfinals while the second team in the group start the knock-out phase of the competition in the pre-quarterfinals until two teams fight for the ultimate championship.

“It has been a very fruitful journey. The boys are enjoying their football. We have some outstanding players in the team,” Araujo commended his side.

“There is alot of promise and talent in this side. I am of the opinion that if we take good care of them, than some of these players might play for FC Goa senior team in years to come,” he added.

Road to the playoffs:

Preceded by the 2-0 win over Fr. Agnel Pilar, FC Goa hadregained the top spot in Group D after Portais S. C. failed to turn up for the match on Friday and as a result were declared winners with 3 points and 3 goals.

The Junior Gaurs enjoyed a 100% win record until they drew 2-2 with Dempo SC on Tuesday. Chadel Fernandes and Rayan Menezes scored the two goals for FC Goa.

The 3-0 win over Cabesa SCC 3-0 on 21 November was courtesy of a strike by Reuben Castelino and brace bagged by Valentine Carvalho. FC Goa’s 100% record included results such as the 6-0 victory against Goa Velha Sports Club, a 3-1 result over Sporting Clube de Goa, a 13-0 thrashing of the Don Bosco Oratory team and a 7-0 rout of Ponda Footballers.

Players to watch out for:

Asfin Pinto– Dubbed as the next Mandar Rao Dessai, the left winger has a natural left foot and can run at defenders with pace. He hails from Romeo Fernandes’ village, Velim.

Rayan Menezes – Captain and centre back, he isvery good in the air and possesses good technical abilities. He is the reason we have conceded only three goals.

Reuben Castelino – The number10 forms the heart of the midfield has scored some wonderful goals besides performing as the supply line for the strikers.

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