LESTEN Martin’s stunning strike gave Sporting FC their first ever Gold Cup in the Young Goans Club Eight-a-side Gulf Invitational Football Tournament defeating Midland FC 1-0 at Al Ahli Club ground in Zinj.
The move of the day came from Godfrey Silva the playmaker who dribbled past two Midland FC players to send in a perfect looping ball to Martins on top of the box who made no mistake to beat Midland FC goalkeeper Hashim to his left.
Earlier, in the first quarter-final, UAE Goans beat Goan Footballers 2-0. Manuel Leon Fernandes and Valent Silva were on target.
Sporting FC outplayed AVC Kuwait 3-0 in the second qaurter-final with the help of two goals from Godfrey Silva and one from Dylan Dias.
In the third quarter-final, MJD Salcete Bahrain grabbed the only goal of the game through Elvino Fernandes to send Um Al Hassam FC crashing out of the tournament.
Midland FC won 7-6 via tie-breaker against KKFC Canacona in the fourth quarter-final.
The highlight of the tournament was the game between UAE Goans and Sporting FC in the first semi-final. Both the teams played a goalless draw and the match was decided on penalty kicks. Sporting FC won the game via sudden death with the scoreline 8-7.
In the second semi-final Midland FC beat MJD Salcete 1-0. Irshad scored the lone gola of the match.
Other teams who took part in the tournament were Goan Footballers Bahrain, Ribandar FC, Snipers FC, Marina FC and Cotton House Bahrain.
Meanwhile, Goa lost to Kerala 0-2 in a veterans’ exhibition game.
Special awards were given on the night. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Rico Braganza for his contribution to Goans football in Bahrain.
The Best Goalkeeper Award was picked up by Fred Fernandes (Fredy) of team Sporting FC while the Best Defender Award went to Elvino Fernandes (Dunga) of team MJD Salcete. Manuel Leon Fernandes of team UAE Goans received the Highest Scorer Award.
The winners and runners-up were presented with medals, trophies and cash prizes.