Goa win thriller to reach Santosh Trophy semis

IANS|20-Mar-2017 20:08

Bambolim (Goa), March 20 :Goa came from one goal down to edge past defending champions the Services 2-1 and make it to the semi-finals in a Group A national championship for the Santosh Trophy football tie here on Monday.

The Services took the lead through All India Football Federation (AIFF) youth academy product Arjun Tudu in the seventh minute but goals from teenage footballer Akeraj Martins and Cajetan Fernandes helped the hosts reach the last four stage in thrilling fashion.

Martins made a dazzling run on the left, beating the onrushing keeper and lobbing the ball over him to find the back of the net leaving the huge crowd in raptures. Cajetan then put the result beyond doubt with another clinical finish in the dying minutes of the rip-roaring game.

Goa started the match needing a point at the minimum to ensure a last-four berth.

The hosts got off to the worst possible start when they found themselves a goal down, with Tudu beating Bruno Colaco from the narrowest of angles to score. 

Goa then suffered another blow when central defender Leny Pereira had to be replaced by Cajetan due to a tight hamstring. 

Then began Goa's profligacy in front of the goal. It started with a Brian Mascarenhas free kick going just over the bar, a Liston Fernandes cross eluding both Aaren D'Silva and Brian Mascarenhas by inches and Latesh Mandrekar blazing his shot wide off the keeper after Fernandes had played in a brilliant through ball.