With Brazilian football star Cafu as a marqee player, an aggressive Goa 5’s outclassed Bengaluru 5’s 3-0 and sealed a semi-final spot in Mapau on Thursday.
Cafu replaced his compatriot Ronaldino as marquee player for Goa.
The opening quarter was dominated by Goa with outstanding dribbling and passing skills from Rafael.
Both goalkeepers, in an unconventional manner, went ahead of halfway mark and even attempted direct hits. Bengaluru keeper Santiago Elias even exposed the goal on some occasions.
In the first quarter, Bengaluru were strong in their defence and their keeper saved some direct hits, but Goa took the lead in 10th minute with Michael Siva netting the ball.
Bengaluru had their chances but all in vain. Bengaluru’s Jonthan Piers took on Cafu in an interesting sight to watch.
The evening saw much better crowd than the past two days at the Peddem Sports Complex here, which throughout cheere for the Goa side and for Cafu.
In the second quarter, there were quite a few anxious moments. While Bengaluru’s Zaib nearly missed a goal, few attempts by Goa players, including two by Cafu, did not find the target.
On one occasion, Rafael too had a narrow miss. While the quarter did not see any goal, the Bengaluru 5’s were more aggressive and tried to outplay their opponents.
In the opening minute of third quarter, Goa made it 2-0 with Rafael scoring a direct hit from quite a distance.
Bengaluru 5’s either missed chances, or missed passes as they failed to net the ball even in this quarter. If Goa could not extend the lead, it was due to Bengaluru goalkeeper who did a superb job.
For Goa, Cafu’s playing instilled a new energy and enthusiasm in the side. In the fourth quarter, Bengaluru tried to claw back by a more aggressive approach, but they could not succeed in terms of scoring. Paul Scholes failed to impress as it was a Goa show all through.
Goa 5’s Vampeta who failed to score the first penalty in the 37th minute but converted the second one in the 39th minute as Goa extended the lead to 3-0. Goa joined Kolkata in the semifinals which are to be played on Saturday. Bengaluru finish their campaign and are out of the tournament.
Kochi 5’s made a remarkable comeback with a late onslaught in the fourth and final quarter with three quick goals to settle for a draw 3-3 against the Chennai 5’s to enter the semi-finals.
Kochi 5’s, who were unable to score till the 36th minute, finally opened their account in the 37th minute through Moraes. They then trailed 1-2 but changed their strategy in the fourth quarter, which eventually helped them. Kochi made it 2-2 as their player Chaguinha netted the ball.
Chennai were nearly through to the semifinals when excellent passes and coordination by its players resulted in Romulo scoring in the 39th minute.
But they were soon heart-broken as Kochi 5’s equalised in the additional time of the fourth quarter and settled for a draw. It was once again Chaguinha who displayed his prowess and scored in a counter-attacking move.
With the win, Kochi 5’s join Mumbai in the semifinals.
Semifinal Line-up: Mumbai 5’s vs Kolkata 5’s; Goa 5’s vs Kochi 5’s.