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Santosh Trophy

Goa qualify for Santosh Trophy 2023-24 final rounds

Published at :October 18, 2023 at 2:15 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : GFA)

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Trijoy Dias scored the difference-maker just before the hour mark in this Santosh Trophy clash.

Goa emerged victorious against strong contenders Kerala, securing a 1-0 win that not only topped Group A but also earned them qualification for the 77th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy, in a nail-biting encounter at SAG ground, Benaulim. The high-stakes match saw both teams fighting fiercely for the win, but it was Trijoy Dias who became the hero for Goa, scoring the decisive goal just before the hour mark.

From the first whistle, coach Derrick’s side exhibited remarkable determination, maintaining maximum possession and pressing their opponents relentlessly. Deeshank Kunkalikar had the first real attempt for Goa, setting the tone for a relentless offensive.

Goa’s persistence paid off in the second half when Trijoy seized the opportunity and unleashed a curling effort from the edge of the box that found the back of the net, sending the Goan supporters into wild celebrations. This goal proved to be the decider, highlighting Trijoy's skill and composure under pressure.

Despite their strong attacking reputation, Kerala found it difficult to break through Goa’s defense. Jobern Cardozo and Lloyd Cardozo continued to exploit spaces in the Kerala team, creating numerous chances for Goa. Kerala, on the other hand, had their moments, with Shinu R coming close off a Niju Gilbert corner, but his header sailed over the bar.

Kerala had a golden opportunity to equalize when Naresh Bhagyanathan skillfully maneuvered past Goa defenders, but his shot went wide, sparing Goa from conceding an equalizer. Goa's defense stood firm, denying Kerala’s attempts and maintaining their clean sheet against one of the most potent attacking teams in the competition.

GFA President Dr. Caitano Fernandes and Nuvem MLA Aleixo Sequeira presented the trophy to the Group A winners in the presence of GFA members and other dignitaries.

At halftime, the Goa Football Association (GFA) took the opportunity to honor the Goa state junior national girl’s football team for their outstanding achievement in winning the Tier-2 competition. GFA President Dr. Caitano Fernandes felicitated the team, coached by Jonathan Faleiro, and awarded them a bonus of Rs 3 lakhs, recognizing their dedication and talent.

In the morning fixture, Gujarat downed Chhattisgarh 4-0. Tufel Hingora scored a brace while Chinkhosiam Dimngel and Dharmesh Parmar netted a goal each for the winners. Gujarat finished on seven points.

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