PANAJI: Goa were held to a 2-2 draw by Mizoram in the Sub Junior National Football Championship, organised by All India Football Federation, in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday.
The Goa juniors started on a slow pace allowing the Mizoram lads take advantage of the game plan. They were pressed in their own territory as Mizoram managed to score their first goal in the opening quarter.
However, Goa’s Dwayne Neto and Aryan Salunke showed great skills in the midfield and helped the team find the equaliser. Dwayne Neto on receiving the ball from the defence covered some distance and played a through pass to Aryan Salunke, who made no mistake to score past the Mizoram keeper, 1-1. The teams were tied 1-1 at the break.
On resumption, Goa commanded the play by playing short passes and keeping more of the ball possession. The dominance turned into the lead at the hour mark when Tahir Shaikh scored with a clinical finish and it was Dwayne Neto once again with an assist.
Goa, however, suffered a late setback in the game when Mizoram scored an 85th minute equaliser after scoring from a corner kick which deflected off a Goan defender. Goa had two penalty claims in the 88th and 90th minute which however were turned down by the referee.
“We played a very good game but I’m dejected with the fact that we were robbed off three points. The referee turned down two clear cut penalties. But now I shall concentrate on the next game against Telangana,” said coach Ajay Acharya.
Meanwhile, Goa will play Punjab in their final group game of the Junior National Football Championship for BC Roy Trophy, in Cuttack on Tuesday. They will require a win to progress into the semifinals.
Both Goa and Punjab are tied with four points while Jammu and Kashmir are on two points and SAI Hostels are yet to open their account.