Goa’s dreams shattered as Karnataka take the lead in their first game.

Team Karnataka played  their first game against Goa, at the Howrah Municipal Corporation Stadium in the Group B category. It was hot and humid but  that did not stop them from playing. Goa started the match and were attacking from left – right while  Karnataka was  attacking from right – left. In the very first minute Goa started the attack but the ball went out for a throw in .Karnataka were building up from the back and attacked from  the left flank with a  pass to the centre and a  beautiful through ball into the Goa box but Karnataka hit it straight at the goalkeeper. In the fourth minute  Karnataka was yet again with a  patient build up and passed it  into the box hitting  the back of the net from the header, that was disallowed because of an off-side.

Karnataka won their first  free kick in the middle of the park and with an attack down the left flank but it was handled easily by Goa. Karnataka were looking the better of the two sides as they made structured build ups towards the Goan  goal. Goa and Karnataka both have  had goals disallowed due to offside in their Group B match here at the Howrah Stadium in Kolkata.

Karnataka got their  first real opportunity when striker Rajesh S was found clear inside the area, but he couldn’t finish it  from a wide angle. Captain  Victorino Fernandes made an excellent effort in the eleventh minute but the ball fizzed  past the Karnataka goalpost. Kapil Hoble won  the first corner for Goa and Karnataka were quick to  defend. Karnataka tried to penetrate the Goa defence but the ball went  back to the defenders who were trying to  build an attack  again from the back. Karnataka players were using the flanks to test the Goan fullbacks. Goa made a  fast build up and Victorino Fernandes got into  a position to take a shot but excellent shielding from  Karnataka centre back avoided the danger. Goa were very close to scoring but the ball evaded  Victorino Fernandes’s toe poke and that  went  safely out for a goal kick. Karnataka No. 2 Sunil Kumar M  conceived  a yellow card due to a rash tackle on the Goan forward.

It was an excellent cross from the left which fell perfectly in the path of Kapil Hoble, who hit a great diving header which was too powerful to be saved by the Karnataka Goalkeeper creating a lead for them in the twenty seventh minute. Karnataka were trying to build an attack again in order to find the equalizer but were stalled by the Goa defence. Goa  created another  chance in the twenty nineth minute but a mistimed run by Victorino Fernandes led  him into an off-side position. The heat took a toll on the players as they dispersed for a two minute cooling break. Captain Victorino continued  with his breathtaking speed ,rushing down the right as it was successfully defended by the Karnataka defence. Karnataka found it hard to build up attacks as Goa were playing with a better shape and confidence post their first  goal. In the thirty fifth minute Goa received  a free-kick and Karnataka survived two headers from the leaping Goa players to keep the score at 0-1.Midfielder Joachim Abranches  was causing difficulties for the Karnataka right back.

Goan coach Armando Colaco was  clearly displeased at a foul not being given for his team and had a heated conversation with the fourth official. Meanwhile, Goa get another opportunity through a dangerous corner, but the header was cleared a few yards of the line. Karnataka came very near to scoring and a an appeal for penalty was turned down by the referee. Goa were patiently building up but were losing possession and a foul on the Karnataka by mid-fielder by Beevan D’mello shook them a little. Kapil Hoble continued his attack  from the right flank for Goa and won  a throw in for the team.

Three minutes were added after forty five minutes before the end of first half. With a few minutes remaining before half time  Goa received  another golden opportunity to double their lead, as Beevan D’mello made a sweet run through the right-wing and went past a few defenders as he found Kapil  Hoble, whose shot was  luckily blocked by Karnataka’s defense. Defender Mackroy Peixoto of Goa received a yellow card in the dying moments of first half. Goa were leading one in the end of first half. Karnataka kicked-off the second half and straight away tried a long ball.  Karnataka made early attacks with a forward lob and the forward tried to direct the ball towards the goal but it hit  side nets .In the fort ninth minute  Karnataka made a strong run but an offside against the Karnataka striker dismantled  the move. They won a free-kick just few yards outside the box with  possibility of a direct go at the Goan goal by was averted by the Karnataka defenders.

Karnataka equalized in the fifty fifth minute as Captain Vignesh Gunashekar showed great persistence and chased   the ball to get to it before Goan goalkeeper Agnelo Gomes, who was  nut-megged by Vignesh  leading to the goal behind the net. Karnataka were opening up the Goa defence after their equalizer as midfielder Sukesh Leon K took a fine crack at the goal  but an excellent save by the Goa goalkeeper was lauded. Goa received a free-kick but was successfully headed out by Karnataka which was continued by  terrific counter-attack from striker Rajesh S, who made a  darting run from the just outside his own half before taking a brilliant shot from outside the box which surged into the goal. Captain Victorino Fernandes made  wonderful run for Goa down the left flank but in the process he almost twisted his ankle but winning a corner.

Defender Peter Carvalho missed an open header as  headed  it over the cross bar with a golden chance missed by Goa to equalize .In the first substitution for Goa’s  Beevan D’Mello was  replaced by forward  Clinton Niasso. A mistake was made by Karnataka and Joachim Abranches failed  to capitalize in this  one-one situation. Goa were still searching for an equalizer. Karnataka wrapped  up the game with another goal as Rajesh S showed great power to win the ball outside Goa’s box before delivering a dangerous ball into the middle, which was unfortunately put into his Goan net by Mathew Gonsalves who was responsible for a own goal. Substitution for Goa included forward Marcus Mascarenhas replaced in place of midfielder Joaquim Abranches. Goa’s captain  Victorino Fernandes failed  to convert a sitter in front of the goal from a Kapil Hoble assist.

In the eightieth minute   Goa received a golden opportunity to get one back when a brilliant cross from the right that  found Victorino Fernandes, who shockingly put an easy chance wide off  the mark. It was a  bad day in the office for Goa’s captain!. Rajesh S almost scored his second goal of the game but the wide shot did not worry the Goan  side. Goa looked  tired as they failed  to get any momentum into the attacking moves to trouble the Karnataka team. In their second substitution for Karnataka  Sukesh Leon K was  replaced by Shaik Muzeeb.

Subsequently Goa made their second substitution as jersey no. 9 Kapil Hoble was sent  out & Nestor Dias was brought in. Goa continued their attack again with a cross from the right flank that was not  met by any forward of Goa yet again.

Karnataka had multiple opportunities to get another goal in the past few minutes. Rajesh S tricked Goa’s defense before taking a shot from outside the box which was wide of the mark, after which Leon Augustine’s ambitious attempt also went over the post. Leon Augustine made a terrific run through the right-wing before taking a powerful low shot which was impossible to save for Gomes in the ninetieth minute . Five minutes of injury time was added as  Karnataka got  another  chance to score but  the shot which was placed well lacked power and was saved by the Goan shot stopper .After the fulltime  Karnataka emerged  triumphant against the mighty Goan side by a margin of 3 goals.



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