Calcutta: The IFA Shield could not have got off to a more drab start as Vasco, Goa and Tata Football Academy played out a goalless draw in a Group B match at the Mohammedan Sporting ground Thursday.
Vasco’s reluctance to play in the ground became increasingly justified. The strip was very bumpy and hard and it was difficult for the players to get the ball in control. So Vasco, vying for top honours in the National Football League, did not exert themselves too much fearing injuries.
The match, mostly confined to the midfield, did not have too many moments of excitement. The TFA boys, though quite solid technically, lacked the penetration and the skill needed to get through the organised defence of Vasco.
In the 17th minute, TFA’s Jerry Zirsanga’s powerful right-footer was well-saved by Joy.
It proved to be a wake-up call for the Vasco boys and they ensured that there were no more scares. In the 43rd minute, the Goa team got a free-kick and Rui Vanderley Weis’ powerful left-footer well-saved by the TFA ’keeper Subroto Paul.
Vasco SC: Saji Joy; Sandrick Coelho (Daniel Colaco, 52), Franky Barreto, Shamsi Reza, Agnelo Colaco; Sushant Matthew, Bhola Dey, Ruis Wanderleis, Angelo Gomes (M. Fernandes, 86); Santa Singh, Nitin Pradhan (Anthony Perreira, 56).
TFA: Subroto Paul; Subhas Mondal, Gurpreet Singh, Habibur Rahman Mondal, Debabrata Roy; Jehry Zirsanga, Chitra Sen, Gour Mangi; Sumit Thapa (Bimal Birwa, 90), Vanlal Rova (K. Paite, 61).
Referee: Subrata Sarkar.