Sub-Junior Nationals: Goa & Odisha play out draw!

Goa U16 boysGoa drew 1-1 against a strong Odisha side in their second Group A match of the Sub-Junior National Football Championship (Final Round) played at the Dr. Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi.

The match kick-off was at 2pm in the unbearable Delhi summer heat but the Goa team put up a very spirited display and held their nerves inspite of the high temperature. Goa started off on a good note in their trademark attacking style of play and got a free kick in the 2nd minute of play. Movin Gauncar took a brilliant freekick but a strong header by Harsh Patre missed the goal by a few inches. In the 11th minute, winger Meldon Oliveira made a nice run along the flank and gave a beautiful cross in the Odisha goal mouth area but Harsh Patre missed an easy goal scoring opportunity with just a few yards in front of goal.

Against the run of play, Odisha took advantage of a goalmouth scramble by Goa and took the lead in the 30th minute of play. Goa seemed a little shocked at conceding the goal but slowly started to regroup as a unit. Odisha led 1-0 at the half-time break.

The second half started off really well for Goa and they equalized in the 47th minute with a brilliant header by Stewart Francis Demello off a perfect cross by Harsh Patre. Odisha put a lot of pressure on Goa but Goa defenders Rahul Choudari, Frazer Viegas and Ryan Fernandes stood rock strong and did not let Odisha forwards make any threatening efforts at goal. Kenneth Da Costa and Aman Bhore kept the Odisha defenders busy for the entire match with medios Anthony Fernandes and Meldon Oliveira supplying the forwards with some good passes deep in the Odisha territory.

In the 60th minute, the game took an ugly turn with a straight red card being awarded to Pintu Samal for a dangerous tackle on a Goa player. Goa nearly took the lead in the 64th minute when Kenneth Da Costa made a beautiful through ball pass to Stewart Demello but his powerful shot went straight into the Odisha goalkeeper’s hand from handshaking distance. Goa continued to press hard to find the winning goal but were denied by some good defence put up by Odisha after they were down to 10 men.

1-1 was the final score and Goa has collected 4 points from 2 matches. Goa next play hosts Delhi in a crucial match number 3 on 14th April 2016.

In an other Group A match, Meghalaya beat Tamil Nadu 4-1.

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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