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UC Nerul are Cana Benaulim soccer champs

Benaulim: A left footed angular strike by dashing forward Sanket Jotkar three minutes before the final hooter, enabled United Club of Nerul to register a soliatry goal win against Goan Warriors FC, Tivim and emerge Champions of 43rd Cana Benaulim Soccer Tournament in the final played at St John, the Baptist grounds, Benaulim on Sunday.

It was the UC Nerul team that controlled the proceedings in both the sessions but the strong Goan Warriors FC defence prevented the Nerul strikers from finding the mark until the last three minutes of play during which time Nerul’s striker Sanket ran past three rival defenders and then coooly sloted the ball in to beat Goan FC keeper S Bugde.

It was a brilliant move that was initiated from the middle Anthony Fernandes sending a defence splitting pass on the left flank from where Sanket dashed in and after dodging three rival defenders sent a low shot that gave no chance at all to the rival keeper.

Earlier, UC Nerul created several openings in both sessions but the Goan Warriors FC defence consisting Madhu Salgaocar, S Termudo, Rahul Naik and Milind Shinde stayed alert to deny Nerul strikers a chance to capitalise.

UC Nerul continued with their attacking play and had a number of chances but the Goan Warriors keeper proved to be a hard nut the crack.

As the match neared its end, it appeared the teams were heading for a penalty shoot out, but that had not to be as Sanket found the mark to give UC Nerul the much deserved win.

The winners, UC Nerul besides taking home the trophy also won a cash amount of Rs 40,000 while the runners up – Goan Warriors FC took home Rs 30,000 and the runners up trophy.

The following won the individual prizes: Best goalkeeper of the finals: Sidesh Morjee (UC Nerul), Best defender of the finals: Anthony Fernandes (UC Nerul), Best player of the finals: Chettan Shinde (Goan Warriors FC), First goal of the final: Sanket Jotkar (UC Nerul), Best midfielder of the final: Rajesh Salgaocar (Goan Warriors FC) and Best Disciplined team: Tilamol United.

Guest of honour Rahul D Parab, Police Inspector and in-charge of Colva Police Station gave away the prizes in the presence of Camilson Fernandes, a Social Worker from Colva, sarpach Diella Fernandes among other dignitaries.

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