Goa lock horns with West Bengal in Santosh Trophy Finals
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
The Eastern state will be playing their 44th finals...
Goa will be looking to clinch their 6th title and make their home crowd happy when they face their arch rivals West Bengal in the 71st Santosh Trophy Finals at GMC Stadium Bambolim on Sunday.
Bengal has reached finals by beating Mizoram in the tie-breaker. The Eastern state is flying high with an unbeaten run in the Championship, being the only team in the championship with all clean sheets. Meanwhile, the hosts have defeated powerhouse Kerala 2-1in the hard-fought semi-finals. Goa are also unbeaten in the league, but they have struggled to get into the finals.
Goan coach Mateus Costa has full strength squad at his disposal and most likely to add recovered-from-injury Lenny Pereira and Francis Fernandes in the squad against the 31-time champions. He might also think to give the first start to U-21 striker Akeraj Martins.
While Bengal coach Mridul Banerjee will have also have all players at his disposal and he is also most likely to go with the similar starting XI which displayed a brilliant performance to beat spirited Mizoram in the semifinals.
Bengal has a better track record over the Goans. Both the sides have met six times in the finals and the East Indian state has come out champions five times, while Goa emerged Champions in the 2008 edition with a 4-2 tie-breaker win over Bengal.
Man to Watch
Liston Colaco- Goa: The forward has proved his calibre scoring a brace in the last match against Kerala. The 18-year-old is brilliant with the ball at his feet, while he is also known for surprising the opponents with powerful long rangers. With his calibre to easily dribble past defenders, the striker will be the man to stop for Bengal.
Manvir Singh– Bengal: The centre-forward is in the excellent form helping his side with assists in almost every Bengal’s goal. The Minerva Academy product has already shown his class with a brilliant performances in the every game. The tall frontman is superb in the air too and if Bengal are looking to add one more championship to their basket, the striker will have to play a key role in the front-line along with Shaikhom Singh and Moirangthem Singh.
Goa: (4-4-1-1) Bruno (GK), Carvalho, Soares, Nicolau, Lenny, Cajetan, Lenny, Akeraj, Liston, Francis, Leander.
West Bengal: (4-4-2) Roy (GK), Lakra, Murmu, Faiaz, Mallick, Gharmi, Santu, Manvir, Akhtar, Shaikhom, Moirangthem.
The match will be telecast live on DD Sports from 6.00 PM.
Published: Sat Mar 25, 2017 04:49 PM IST