Fri, 19 Apr, 2019

Goa in main round of Santosh Trophy

Beat MP 1-0 to emerge as West Zone champions

12th February 2019, 03:11 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI

Goa emerged West Zone champions and qualified for the main round of Santosh Trophy after registering a narrow 1-0 win against Madhya Pradesh in their last group fixture at Solapur, on Monday. Former India international Joaquim Abranches scored the all important goal for Goa in the first half.

“I’m very pleased with the performance of our boys. The result says everything. They gave their best in the tournament so far and deservingly emerged on top in the West Zone,” said a delighted Goa coach Samir Naik. “We had many chances in the game but I think we got what we wanted and I’m happy for the boys. The ground wasn’t the best, but the boys didn’t complain and did their job,” added Naik.

Knowing only a win could take them into the next round, Naik fielded a strong line-up making just one change to his playing XI. Glen Martins was back in the squad replacing Peter Carvalho in the midfield. Upfront there was no change in the game plan as Abranches led the attack for Goa with his partner Lalawmpuia.

It was a tale of two halves as Goa totally dominated the first session and had to hold on to their narrow lead in the second half. Adapting to poor ground conditions, Goa started brightly and created many clear cut opportunities. First Abraches saw his shot blocked by the rival keeper from a close distance and then Lalawmpuia fumbled on a couple of instances with only the keeper at 

his mercy.

Much to the delight of the Goans, after many missed chances, they finally scored in the second quarter of the game when Lalawmpuia played the ball in the box from the left flank which was met by Abranches, to score his first of the evening and third of the tournament. In the second half, Madhya Pradesh dominated and tried hard to score the equalising goal but the strong Goa defence foiled their every move.