Goa rout Maharashtra, top West Zone

Stany Braganza nets five as Goa top the group with a hundred percent record to qualify for the final phase after mauling Maharashtra 11-1 at Nehru stadium, Fatorda on Tuesday

MARGAO: Goa mauled Maharashtra 11-1 to top the West Zone group in the 34th sub-junior national football championship (West Zone) for Coca Cola Mir Iqbal Hussain trophy at Nehru stadium, Fatorda, here, Tuesday.
Goa, who were leading 8-0 at the breather, rode on the brilliant efforts of stylish and versatile striker Stany Braganza’s hat-trick, who went on to score as many as 5 goals on his own. He found the mark in the 3rd, 7th, 13th , 36th  and 89th minute of play.
The other goal scorers for Goa were Akiraj Martins (22nd and 45th minute), Jesmon Soares (41st), Delbert Fernandes (46th) and Aldrich Coelho (72nd). Maharashtra’s lone goal which came as a reducer was scored by Shubham  Saloke.
With this win in the final match of this group, Goa pocketed 12 points while Madhaya Pradesh who stood second collected 9 points to qualify for the main nationals in the 10-team competition from all over India from different groups which will be played at Tilak stadium, Vasco and Nehru stadium, Fatorda.
Earlier in the day in a match played between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh at Raia grounds, Madhya Pradesh registered a 3-0 victory which helped them to take the second spot and qualify for the main draw along with Goa, with the hosts being the leaders in this group, winning all their matches. Goa thus remained undefeated, a feat which goes well as per the reputation of this tiny state.
The finals will be played in Margao at Nehru stadium under the floodlights.
The General Manager of Coca Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd,  Mr Sunil Pissay gave away the prizes to champions Goa from the West Zone group as well as to the runners-up along with glittering trophies. Mr Asih R Nigam, District Manager and Mr Anil Kamat, AIFF were also present on the dais while distributing the trophies and the prizes to the players.
As usual Goa played like masters on the field passing the ball quickly with positional play and as a matter of fact could score at will with Maharashtra completely devastated by the swift moves of Goan team.
Goa moved the ball on both the flanks and put the entire Maharashtra defence in total disarray in both the sessions of play.
Maharashtra could not contain the marauding Goa forwards and striker Stany Braganza was simply unstoppable while in full flight as he shot in beautiful goals, which included a hat-trick. Stany scored quickly in 3rd,7th and 13th minute to complete his hat-trick and then scored two more goals in the 36th and 80th minute to set up Goa’s win. He then began to play the role of a provider giving passes to Jayson Lucas and Akiraj Martins.
Such was the superiority of Goa that Maharashtra were no where in action.
Goals rained in at regular intervals for Goa and it became a totally one-sided affair in both the sessions of play.
The only consolation for Maharashtra was the lone goal that was scored by Shubham Saloke which resulted from a defensive lapse as there was a mix up between the Goa goalkeeper and the defenders.
Besides this move Maharashtra produced nothing worthwhile as Goa literally walked with the ball in the rival territory and could have scored more goals had they been really very accurate in their shooting abilities.
Goa, however, deserves all the praise as the boys were seen doing fine passing, creating good gaps in the rival territory to take the ball forward and appeared confident in their play all the while.
Meanwhile, coach Seby Noronha said: “We had watched Maharashtra a few times and I sat down with coach Inacio (Viegas) and we chalked out a plan of action. We are very pleased with the performance overall.”
Seby disclosed that the players will have a few days rest, before they start training for the final phase which is due to start in Goa on March 8. Seby was also grateful to manager
Uday Lingudkar for his efforts in the campaign.