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Goa trounce Highlanders to move to second spot

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By EMN Updated: Dec 01, 2014 10:13 pm
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Agencies
Goa, December 1

FC Goa took an important step towards qualifying for the semi-final as they thrashed NorthEast United 3-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa on Monday evening.
Romeo Fernandes and Miroslav Slepicka gave Goa a 2-0 lead at half-time before Andre Santos added another after the break to complete the rout.With this result, Goa have 18 points from 12 matches as they moved to the second spot, four points behind league leaders Chennaiyin FC. Meanwhile, Ricki Herbert’s outfit still have faint hopes of making it into the play-offs as they remain on the sixth spot with 13 points in their kitty.
The home side started brighter of the two after Massamba Sambou gave the ball in a dangerous position with Andre Santos playing in Mandar Dessai on the left but his cross into the box was collected by T.P.Rehenesh in goal in the third minute.
The very next minute saw Romeo Fernandes’ cross from the right being headed over the bar by Haroon Amiri.
At the other end, Koke found Zodingliana Ralte on the left in the 10th minute, but Debabrata Roy got there in time to make the clearance.
Santos had a chance as well as he headed wide in the 12th minute from a Narayan Das cross from the left.
It was a battle in the middle of the park as neither side was able to dominate the proceedings.
The breakthrough eventually came in the 34th minute when Debabrata passed the ball to Slepicka who in turn found Romeo. The winger burst into the box and with his second touch put the ball past Rehenesh to score the 100th goal of the tournament.
Romeo could have made it 2-0 but Mandar’s cross from the left saw the former fail to make a solid connection at the back post.
NorthEast created a rare chance in the 40th minute when Koke’s cross to the left who was put back across the face of the goal by Ralte. However, Durga Boro’s shot was deflected wide for a corner by Bruno Pinheiro.
The Goans went into the break with a two-goal lead. Jan Seda collected the ball from a corner and throws it for Romeo who speeds past defenders to cut it back, with a deflection taking it for Slepicka. The Czech striker made no mistake whatsoever by driving into the box and putting the ball into the far corner.
The first chance in the second session of play came only at the hour mark when Koke forced Jan Seda to make his first save of the match as he dived low to his right to block the Spaniard’s shot.
Two minutes later, Slepicka’s through ball had Romeo lining up for a shot, but a strong tackle by Miguel Garcia stopped the Goan midfielder in his tracks.
Herbert made a double change by bringing in Tomas Josl and Alen Deory in place of Chansa and Ralte.
Josl’s cross from the left saw Seda spill it but Pinheiro was around to clear the ball away in the 66th minute. Romeo had another chance came his way as his shot takes a deflection off Sambou to go wide.
NorthEast had a couple of appeals for penalty as Felipe and Keene went down in the box but referee Santosh Kumar wasn’t interested.
Santos added his name on the score sheet in the 74th minute. Narayan Das crossed from the left for Santos and the Brazilian took three touches to deceive Massamba Sambou and Durga Boro to place the ball into the net with his right foot, making a mockery of the NorthEast defense.
In the 77th minute, Josl’s free-kick dropped for Garcia at the far post who headed it back for Keene. The striker smashed his volley wide.
In the stoppage time, Slepicka should have done better to score his second goal of the game. Substitute Clifford Miranda did well to get into space and send a ball across the face of goal. The Czech striker didn’t make an effort to get there and thereby, allowing Josl to clear it for a corner.
The score-line remained the same as a resurgent Goa side have certainly been the most in-form side in the second leg of the Indian Super League (ISL) having picked ten points in their last four matches.

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By EMN Updated: Dec 01, 2014 10:13:56 pm