Santosh Trophy: Mascarenhas hat-trick takes Goa to semisJune 7th, 2009 - 8:03 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, June 7 (IANS) Goa romped into the semi-finals of the 63rd National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy with a commanding 5-0 win against Maharashtra with Marcus Mascarenhas scoring a hat-trick in their concluding Group B quarter-final league match here Sunday.
Goa finished with seven points from two wins and a draw and joined Bengal and Tamil Nadu who had qualified from Group A Saturday, while Maharashtra, having lost all their three matches, made a rather unceremonious exit.
The second qualifier from this Group B will be known after the match between Services and Karnataka to be played later Sunday. Karnataka (four points) need only a draw to progress while Services (three) require to win outright for a semi-final berth.
Beevan D’Mello (21st, 30th) and Mascarenhas (35th, 55th, 90th) gave Goa a comfortable 3-0 lead in the first-half that saw Maharashtra having more of the ball possession.
It was certainly a poor play by the Maharashtra defenders who were a stride slow and barely marked the Goan forwards who when in position did as they pleased.
In contrast, the Maharashtra forwards worked hard to repeatedly breach the Goan defence, but just could not find a way to score. These blemishes at the finish were to prove costly.
Goa, after being on the defensive early on, then went on the attack and courtesy the Maharashtra defenders, managed to slot home three goals that at one time were not even seen on the horizon.
Past the 21st minute, D’Mello was let free to head in a curling corner kick by Nicolas Rodrigues for the first goal. Worse was to follow for Maharashtra as D’Mello had the space to receive a pass, turn and slip it past the goalkeeper without so much as a token challenge.
Goa effectively killed the Maharashtra resistance when Mascarenhas eased between a couple of defenders to stick his leg out and deflect home a D’Mello cross to give his side a virtually unassailable 3-0 lead by the 35th minute.
Thereafter, the Goans were content to keep possession to further frustrate Maharashtra who played with a lot of freedom up front but were let down by some horrendous defending.
After change of ends, there was no respite for Maharashtra. Mascarenhas swerved past an advanced goalkeeper Amit Nandi who left his charge in a bid to get to a long ball and Goa were up 4-0.
Almost immediately, Nandi was substituted by Lihaz Koya in the Maharashtra goal, but the change made little difference to the eventual outcome.
With their exit order signed, sealed and delivered, Maharashtra made a few forays and had the Goan goal within the sights, but could not pull the trigger while at the other end, Mascarenhas gave another lesson in goal-scoring when he jabbed home a D’Mello pass for a hat-trick.
Tags: bengal, berth, blemishes, chennai, corner kick, d mello, forwards, four points, goa, goalkeeper, hat trick, karnataka, maharashtra, national football championship, rodrigues, santosh trophy, semi finals, semis, seven points, tamil nadu