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Goa blank Rajasthan in Santosh Trophy West Zone Qualifiers opener

Published at :September 23, 2019 at 5:46 PM
Modified at :September 23, 2019 at 5:46 PM
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Ravish Narvekar

The hosts will next face Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday.

Skipper Joaquim Abranches scored a brace, as Goa started their Santosh Trophy West Zone Qualifiers campaign with an easy 2-0 win over Rajasthan, in a match played at Duler Stadium here on Monday morning.

The match was completely dominated by the hosts, as they should have opened their tally in the 4th minute, when Stendly Fernandes sent a cross to Devendra Murgaonkar in the box, but his powerful header was denied by the crossbar.

A few minutes later, Joaquim had a chance to put his side ahead, when he was fed by Ribhav Sardesai with a cross, but the skipper failed to keep his header on target. Another opportunity came Goa’s way, as Chaitan Komarpant was in prime position to take the hosts into the lead but his grounded shot was blocked by Rajasthan keeper Mahesh Rajpurohit.

After probing attacks, Goa finally took the lead in the 18th minute, when Devendra’s perfect cross was neatly headed in by Joaquim from close to make it 1-0.

Goa should have extended their lead in the next minute, but Rajasthan custodian Mahesh came up with two brilliant saves, as he first blocked Stendly in a one-on-one, while he also stretched to his limit to deny Devendra from scoring. 

However, Goa managed to double their lead in the 32nd minute, when a low fine cross by Ribhav was smartly backheeled by skipper Joaquim making it 2-0 for the hosts.

Goa keeper Jason D’Mello had a walk in the park in the first half, as he just faced a single shot which was comfortably saved by the experienced custodian.

The hosts continued to dominate in the second 45, but some heroic stops from custodian Mahesh restricted them from finding the net. 

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Goa had few more chances to further extend their lead in the last quarter of the match, but Rajasthan keeper Mahesh parried two strikes from Devendra and Stendly for corners. While Samuel Costa saw his goalbound strike brilliantly blocked by the Rajasthan shot-stopper.

Goa had one last chance in the 85th minute, when substitute Aaren D’Silva made a darting run and managed to beat the rival keeper, but his weak shot was cleared on time by a Rajasthan defender.




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