The memories of a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Bengal at Chennai 10 years ago are still fresh in the minds of Goans as Goa meet their most toughest opponents of the tournament as yet in the Santosh Trophy final today at Chennai. The match is scheduled to be telecast live by Zee sports and Ten sports and commences at 5.30 pm.
The face off tomorrow will be the seventh occasion when both the teams will lock horns in the finals of the Santosh trophy and simply going by the history and statistics, the Bengal side has the upper hand as they have dismissed the Goan challenge five times while being adjudged as joint winners with Goa just once.
However after that 5-0 win against Goa in the final of 1999 , the Bengal side never won the trophy and will be looking to repeat that feat again today to deny Goa the title once again. For Goa it is a matter of revenge for their humiliating defeat at the hands of Bengal 10 years ago as also their quest of breaking the jinx of winning a Santosh trophy final against the 29 time champions , something which they have never achieved.
However in the current competition there seems to be no clear favourite to win the trophy as both the teams have not been outstanding this particular year. Both the teams will therefore aim to play their best brand of soccer to come up trumps in the contest today.
Bengal have reached the final of the Santosh trophy without losing a single match and their win against Punjab in the quarter final could be considered as their best in the current championship. Since then they have trounced Services in the semifinal with a 2-0 scoreline and are now really pumped up for the final clash with Goa.
Gouranga Biswas who scored some sparkling Goals against Services is a great talent while their striker PC La-lampuiya is also in excellent form. Also the Bengal goalkeeper Subhashis Roy Choudhury is looking in great nick and came up with a fine show against Services.Raghu Nandy, the Bengal coach is upbeat and said that his boys are in great shape and eager to win the final.
For football crazy Goa , with a player strength that boasts of the likes of Climax Lawrence, Mahesh Gawli, Marcus Mascarenhas, Beevan D'mello, Felix D'Souza and Joaquim Abranches, the squad seems to be a better side on paper.Goa will however miss two of their main players in Freddy Mascarenhas and Branco Cardozo as both of them are nursing injuries and are doubtful for the final. Mariano Dias the Goa coach has exuded confidence that his boys are part of a balanced side and is confident of crossing the final hurdle today and lay Goa's claim to the coveted trophy.