Goa took a firm step towards making it to the Santosh Trophy semi-finals by defeating Punjab to register their second win at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Saturday.
In the first match of the day, Services kept their hopes of entering the semi-finals alive after defeating Karnataka 2-1.
Cavin Lobo once again did the trick for Goa. He had come out as a substitute in the 54th minute in Goa’s first match and emerged hero scoring a late winner.
Adil Khan dispossessed a defender and selflessly passed the ball to Lobo to thump in a left-footer for the first goal in the 55th minute. A misunderstanding in the Punjab defence resulted in Lobo’s second. Former Mohun Bagan striker Branco Cardozo nodded in a third off a corner-kick.
Services needed the win to avoid an early exit. Their strikers were guilty of missing some of the easiest chances. Mahesh Rai’s shot early on was too weak to beat the goalkeeper and soon after Shkhohao Tuboi failed to get a touch on a perfect cross from Santu Subba from the right that found him clear in front of goal. Just before half-time Tuboi hit the side netting from inside the six-yard box with Karnataka goalkeeper Nagendra lying helplessly on the ground.
Skipper Dileep M. headed in a curling free-kick from the left by Gordon Zoramchhana in the 53rd minute.
Karnataka looked a lot more purposeful after conceding. An unmarked J. Karthigeyan beat the keeper with a well-placed shot. They could have taken the lead just three minutes later. Ramu V. pounced on to an error by goalkeeper Binu Purushothaman but his rightfooter hit the bottom the crosspiece and came out.
Substitute Sochungmi Raleng’s pass from the right set up the winner for Services. Dodging past a defender, he found Shaji D’Silva with a neat pass. The latter thumped it in.