Spirited Daman & Diu share spoils with Goa in Santosh Trophy qualifiers
Written by: Ravish R Narvekar
The Goans will face Lakshadweep in their next match on Saturday.
Goa, who were eliminated in the group stage of the last Santosh Trophy finals started the match on an attacking note and came close to scoring in the seventh minute, as Meldon D’Silva made a long pass to forward Stendly Fernandes in the box, but opposition keeper Nihal Hussain came off the line to deny the striker in a one-on-one situation.
At the other end, Daman also tried to build pressure on their rivals with a few swift attacks, as Azfar Noorani tried to find his teammate Anson Anto with a curling cross from the left, but Goan defender Meldon made a timely clearance.
A few minutes later, they once again came up with a quick attack, as this time defender Nascimanto Santiago curled the ball to Ankur Rai, but the Daman midfielder headed wide.
Rest of the match witnessed the Goan side completely dominating proceedings, as they had numerous opportunities to break the deadlock, but poor finishing and brilliant guarding of the post from Daman custodian Nihal denied the opposition.
Goan skipper Jessel Carneiro made a perfect long cross to Kapil Hoble in the box, but the winger saw his shot blocked by the Daman keeper, whereas, the loose ball was shot wide by Lalawmpuia from inside the box.
Carneiro came up with another cross from the left, but this time Stendly failed to connect with his header from close range. The former champions had the best chance in added-time of the first half, when Carneiro again curled the ball to Lalawmpuia in the box, but the forward failed to control the ball with just the rival keeper to beat.
Daman came forward with attacking play in the second half and made a few raids at the start of the session, but could not break down Goa’s strong defence, led by Joseph Clement along with Meldon, Sarineo Fernandes and Brian Faria.
With just 15 minutes left on the match clock, Goa’s coach Samir Naik made all three substitutions, bringing in Peter Carvalho, Joaquim Abranches and Chaitan Komarpant to sharpen them up in attack, but could not manage to break the deadlock in regular time.
Carneiro had two chances in the last quarter of the match, as first he was setup in the box by Kapil, but the Daman custodian was at his best as he brilliantly blocked the Goan skipper’s powerful strike. Five minutes later, substitute Joaquim made a superb through pass to Carneiro, but like the last time, Daman keeper Nihal produced a breathtaking save to keep his side safe against the mighty Goans.
Published: Thu Feb 07, 2019 04:07 PM IST