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GOA SUFFER HEARTBREAKING LOSS TO BENGAL IN SANTOSH TROPHY FINAL

There are heart breaking finals that Goans have gotten used to. After Sporting Clube de Goa suffering a painful loss against Mahindra United in the 2005 Federation Cup, when Jose Barreto scored with virtually the last kick of the match in extra time, Chennaiyin’s Stiven Mendoza scoring two goals in the last three minutes of the second ISL final to leave FC Goa’s fans in tears, it was the turn of Manvir Singh to continue this painful trend and inflict a gut wrenching 1-0 loss on Goa by scoring in virtually the last minute of added time to stun the huge crowd into silence.

The game that promised so much, delivered little, with Bengal having the lion’s share of possession and the greater of the chances. Goa started with an unchanged line up from their semi-final win against Kerala. Goa’s best chance came twelve minutes after the start when Aaren D’Silva was lucky to get the ball off a defensive rebound, but with his back facing the goal, he failed to turn and take a shot past the Bengal keeper Sankar Roy. Ten minutes later Bengal thought they went ahead when Basanta Singh had the ball in the back of the net, however the referee ruled that he controlled the ball with his hand and he received a booking for his offence. Then just before half time Bengal nearly took the lead when a defensive clearance by Peter Carvalho fell straight to Bishal Pradhan who unleashed a powerful pile driver that went just past the side post.

Goa’s best chance in the second half came off a Brian Mascarenhas free kick which went inches above the cross bar. That was about it for Goa as Bengal started to dominate possession, create chances and smother almost all of Goa’s attacks. Goa then suffered a jolt when right back Nicolau Colaco had to be replaced by George D’Souza (72nd minute). The forced change appeared to unsettle Goa’s defenders. Manvir Singh and his strike partner Basanta Singh, in particular, started to exploit Goa’s weakness on the right flank. On one occasion, it needed a crucial block from Melvin Lobo to deny Basanta a sure goal, while just seven minutes before the end of regulation time, Bruno Colaco was forced into a fingertip save after Basanta cut in from the left and unleashed a curler. Goa had a chance to nick it just seconds before the final whistle but Glan’s weak shot, after he was brilliantly put in by Liston, was saved by the keeper.

In the first period of extra time, Bengal left off from where they started and they nearly scored the opening goal. Basanta Singh’s header rebounding off Peter and crashing off the underside of the cross bar. Luckily for Goa the ball didn’t cross the line. The second period of extra time too saw George D’Souza being completely exposed on the right side of defence with Basanta and Manvir both making mazy runs and cutting inside leaving Goa on the edge. Just when Bengal were getting ready for their second successive tie breaker, Goa’s weakness on the right came to haunt them in the 119th minute when Manvir Singh after receiving the ball from Shaikhom Ronald Singh, brilliantly turned a defender and shot past the outstretched Bruno Colaco leaving the huge crowd shocked.

 

Best Goalkeeper: Bruno Colaco (Goa)
Best Defender: Provat Lakra (Bengal)
Best Midfielder: Cajetan Fernandes (Goa)
Best Striker: Basanta Singh (West Bengal)

About GFA

Goa Football Association (GFA) is the governing body of football in Goa. It was constituted on December 22, 1959  as a body to strengthen the administration of football in Goa. Today GFA is one of the top state associations in the country with a state-of-the-art infrastructure, strong organization capabilities and high levels of professionalism in its operations and administration. This has resulted in regional and national domination of Goan teams and players in top leagues and tournaments across the country.

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