Match Day Report:Goa beat Punjab

Punjab faced Goa today in a very interesting match with a match decision that could decide the fate of the next semi finalist.The match no.10 of the 72nd edition of Santosh Trophy 2018 saw some exciting goals.

Punjab started the  kick-off and were  attacking from left to right of the field and Goa were attacking from right to left of the field.Goa were in  yellow and Punjab were  in white,with a compulsory win for both the sides .The weather seemed hot and humid and match was played in the  Howrah Municipal Corporation Stadium.

From the very first minute Punjab were right on the attack carrying it  forward from their last match form with an early pass into the box that led to an acrobatic clearance from Goa. Goa  retaliated with an attack from the third minute  trying  a long shot and was  blocked by the defence with the rebound being collected by another Goa player who took the ball out of play and the danger passed away.There was another run by Goa down the left side but the cross went over the line for a goal kick in the very next minute.

Goa had their first golden opportunity in the seventh minute as captain Victorino Fernandes created a chance on the left and  passed it to midfielder Nestor Dias for a shot who missed the target.Goa tried to attack and lost the ball in the mid-field enabling  Punjab  to force a counter attack but the shot from a  distance by forward Baltej Singh  went flying wayward.  Goa awakened by the attack  tried  to put together structured passes but lost the ball in front of the opponents box.

Goa won their first free-kick and tried to start and attack down the left but the ball was  beautifully won off the feet by Punjab . Goa continuing their attack in the nineteenth minute from the right flank  and pushed a. cross into the box. Nestor Dias collected  the ball but was  fouled and won a  free-kick on the left flank now with no success.Captain Victorino Fernandes made  wonderful run from a north side and a  clearance was well received by the Goan who tried to  push it right across the net but deflected after hitting the inside of the post.Goa with their first yellow card in the twenty sixth minute in the form of midfielder Kapil Hoble . Midfielder Mackroy Peixoto opened the mark for Goa in the twenty sixth minute that was continued by captain Victorino Fernandes who doubled the lead for Goa with an inch perfect finish.There was a cooling break for both the teams to regroup in the twenty ninth minute.

Match restarted after the cooling break in the thirty second minute with a substitute at the same time as captain Sarbjit was replaced and no.5 Sukhjit Singh was brought in.Punjab were attacking with more intent as they were looking forward the close the gap . Punjab continued with another build up and looked to find space down the left side with Jitender Rawat twisting and turning ultimately firing a crack with the shot being blocked.Goa continued with their  the attack via captain Victorino.Five minutes were added as Punjab continued their pursuit for goals before the first half.

In the second half there was a second substitution for Punjab as they took off No.5 Sukhjit Singh and brought in No.15 Kamaldeep Singh.Peter Carvalho was fouled in the fifty fifth minute winning a free-kick for Goa with Shubert Pereira with a shot at the goal and a diving save by the goalkeeper of Punjab Moses Anthony  kept them in the game. There was yellow card for Punjab as  No.7 Sunny fouled upon  Shubert.There was an injury for Punjab as no.12  midfielder Amandeep Singh  was taken off the field on a stretcher and Kamaldeep Singh replaced him. Rajat Kumar received  a yellow card from Punjab in the seventy first minute.Nestor Dias increased the lead with an excellent header from a corner that gave Goa their third goal followed by Shubert Pereira adding to the double brace for the team in thr sixty seventh minute

Jitender Rawat attacked with a cross from left side of the box and a header  from the Punjab side was a easy save for Goa goalkeeper.Punjab had another opportunity as forward Jaskaranpreet Singh had  another chance yet a loose shot from his side found no success.Punjab advanced with a positive move in the eighty sixth minute  but we’re  stalled by Goa leading  another attack from the Goan with a chance for  the fifth goal but defender  Mohd. Asif stalled Victorino from scoring.

A second  substitution for Goa as No.18 Clive Miranda was on and  No.17 midfielder Shubert Pereira was called off in the eighty sixth minute.In the very next minute there was the final substitution for Goa as No.12  Clinton Niasso came in for the  captain Victorino.

Punjab had another chance  to reduce the lead with a penalty in the eighty eight minute that was saved as  Kamaldeep was denied the goal by  Melroy Fernandes. Goa were in sublime form in all departments. Six minutes of were  added at the end of the game to give opportunities to the north side that found  Gurtej Singh with an excellent goal in the fourth minute of extra time opening Punjab’s account.In the dying moments of the game there were some heated moments on the referee’s decision that led to yellow card for Jitender Rawat and a red card for Karan Atwal.

Goa would have qualified had Karnataka not won the match against Mizoram.It was a do or die situation for Karnataka as if would knock them out if Punjab won today.