Monday, June 15, 2009

Goa beats jinx and Bengal to lift Santosh trophy

India's tiniest state of Goa drove all myths and jinx to dust by pulling off an exciting 4-2 victory against arch-rival Bengal and claimed the national honour by lifting the 63rd National football championship for the Santosh Trophy at the Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Sunday 14th June 2009. Goa was also awarded the fair play trophy thereby doubling their joy while lifting the championship.

The victory came after a goalless draw consuming 120 minutes of play including extra time thereby driving the result to the fate of penalties where Goa came out trumps beating the Bengal side by a 4-2 scoreline.

The win was special for the Goans side and Goa Santosh4for the entire state as a whole since it came after six unsuccessful meetings in the final against Bengal which saw the Goan side lift the trophy for the fifth time, having won it three times outright before and once as joint winners with Bengal.


1978-79 Bengal Bengal Goa 1-0
1982-83 Calcutta Joint winner Joint winner 0-0;0-0
1995-96 Bengal Bengal Goa 2-0
1996-97 Bengal Bengal Goa 1-0
1997-98 Bengal Bengal Goa 1-0
1998-99 Bengal Bengal Goa 5-0
2008-09 Chennai Goa Bengal 4-2 (penalties)

A barren 90 minutes of play and  half an hour of extra time failed to find the back of the net for both the teams which eventually had to be decided via the penalty shoot-out.

In the nerve wrecking moments of the shootout, Goa proved their detractors wrong when they scored through Climax Lawrence, Bevan D'Mello, John Dias and Fulgancio Cardozo to emerge victorious, even while the kickIMG_2883 of  Nicholas Rodrigues from the penalty spot at the far post was saved by the diving Bengal custodian Subhashis Roy Chowdhury. However the win has been credited largely to the two grand saves made at the goal by none other than the captain of the Goan side Felix D'souza whose heroics throughout the tournament during which he did not concede a single goal have contributed immensely to Goa's great run to the final and also helped to keep their slate clean till the end.

For Bengal, only two players were successful in finding the net when Snehasish Chakraborty and Pachau Lalam puia were on target but Safar Sarkar and Lalkamal Bhowmick shot straight into the hands of Goa keeper Felix D Souza. 

29 times champions Bengal had themselves to blame for the defeat after missing scoring chances  while the Goan side also fumbled with a few opportunities coming their way. Marcus Mascarenhas from Goa and Pachau lalam Puia from the Bengal side were the two most outstanding players on display in the final

Goa coach Mariano Dias was a picture of jubilation when he was lifted in the air by the Goan players after the match in joyous celebrations and he said that he was very relieved to see the Goan side lifting the title after over 120 minutes of a tense battle. The coach had special praise for goalkeeper and captain of the Goan side Felix D'souza for his tremendous feat of not conceding a single Goal in the entire tournament an achievement which was  accomplished only by Goa's famed goalkeeper Brahmanand Sankhwalkar in 1984 when Goa won the Santosh trophy outrightly for the first time by beating Punjab 1-0.


1982-83 Bengal & Goa Joint winners   0-0
1983-84 Goa Punjab 1-0
1989-90 Goa Kerala 2-0
2005-06 Goa Kerala 1-1,
2-0 (extra time)
2008-09 Goa Bengal 4-2 (penalties)
* Goa has won the trophy 4 times outright, once as joint winners and have been runners-up on seven occassions

The Chief Minister of Goa Mr Digambar Kamat congratulated the Goan Goa Santosh team and said that by winning the Santosh title, Goa has once again proved their supremacy in the football arena in the country. The Sports authority of Goa in the meanwhile has announced a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each to the 23 member side while the winners purse of Rs 5 lakh will also be shared among the players. GFA President Mr Joaquim Alemao who was in Chennai to witness the proceedings, announced a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh to the players as also Mr Peter Vaz , GFA vice-President and President of Sporting clube who announced a similar amount. A rousing reception awaits the Goan team on their arrival to goa with the prestigious crown of supremacy in Indian football.

Viva Goa!

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