Goa punished Kerala for its frailties in defence to score a 2-1 win and enter the finals of the 71st Santosh Trophy National Football championship here at the GMC stadium on Thursday.
Striker Liston Colaco struck a brace to shut out Kerala whose weak defence was exposed by Goa which was backed up by vociferous crowd. In the final on Sunday, Goa will meet Bengal which beat Mizoram 6-5 in sudden death.
Though Kerala had the better of ball possession Goans stung like a bee in counter attacks and scored both the goals in the same manner. Kerala attacked from start but it was Goa which went ahead and off the first genuine chance it created.
Peter Carvalho pushed a long ball to Brian Mascranhas on the right flank. Brian entered the box and squared the ball to Liston who beat the goalkeeper with a right footer in the 13th minute. The Kerala goal fell again in the 36th minute when Leander Cunha found Liston with a through ball and the striker easily beat his marker to bury the ball into far corner of the net.
After surviving an early scare in the second half when Aaren D Silva failed to connect a cross from Brian, Kerala went on to dominate its opponent. It created several chances and Rahul Raj pulled one back in the 61st minute when he found the net with a header in a goal mouth scrum following a corner. The next best chance for Kerala came in the 75th minute but Goan goalkeeper Bruno Ryan Colaco tipped over a free-kick from Jijo Joseph. Goa survived the torrent of Kerala attacks in the final minutes to move into the final.
Goa 2 (Liston Colaco 13, 36) bt Kerala 1 (Rahul Raj 61)
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