Durand Cup 2019: FC Goa Developmental team gets the better of I-League champions Chennai City 2-1
The FC Goa Developmental Team recorded their second win in as many games in the Durand Cup, overcoming defending I-League champions Chennai City 2-1 at the Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal. Two first half goals from Liston Colaco and Nestor Dias were enough for Clifford Miranda’s boys to secure all three points as they knocked Chennai City out of the tournament with this result.
The young Gaurs got off the blocks in Usain Bolt-esque fashion and it took them only 10 minutes to capture the lead. Brilliant work from Flan Gomes in the centre of the pitch helped Liston Colaco run free on the goal with only the keeper to beat. Liston’s initial effort was saved by the onrushing keeper but he was on hand to slot in the rebound on the volley to score his second of the tournament.
Clifford Miranda’s boys continued to apply the pressure on the I-League champions but it was the men from the South-Eastern coast that got the goal against the run of play. An attack down the right resulted in a brilliant cross that was headed in by Mashoor Shereef from six yards out.
The young Gaurs refused to let their shoulders drop as they came storming back into the game. Their endeavours were finally rewarded in the 31st minute of the game when Nestor Dias made the most of the pressure put on the Chennai back line by Lalawmpuia and Flan. The midfielder was able to intercept a pass before racing ahead and coolly slotting it past the keeper to restore Goa’s lead.
Lalawmpuia had another golden opportunity to double the lead when he was played clear through on goal at the fag end of the first half. With the goalkeeper off his line, the man from Mizoram was able to get past him before shooting from a distance of 45 yards from goal. Whilst his shot was goal-bound, it failed to trickle into the back of the net as poor ground conditions saw the ball slow down as it approached the net.
The second half was a very different affair. Chennai City FC dominated possession but it was FC Goa, who carved out the clearest opportunities. However, with neither side being able to capitalise on their chances, the second forty-five remained a goalless affair.
The win takes the FC Goa Developmental Team to 6 points and second spot on the table in Group C. A virtual quarter-final against group leaders Real Kashmir FC on 17th August now awaits the boys where they will need another win to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament.