One of the standout results on Monday in the Santosh Trophy was Goa's 6-1 thrashing of Odisha in their third match, which saw them remain in the race for a semifinal spot. A hattrick of goals and assists from skipper and veteran striker Victorino Fernandes sealed a memorable win for Goa.
After two defeats, this win against Odisha came as a breath of fresh air for the Goans.
Speaking about his team's performance, five-time I-League winning coach Armando Colaco said, "The boys really played. They have been playing well not just in this game. They played well throughout the tournament but unfortunately, we were not getting the results. The talent is there in this squad and I believed in them. Initially, it didn't work but finally it is working now. There was an outside chance of making to the semis so I told them to give their best and get the result."
When asked if the extra urgency to score goals was due to the semifinal equation, Colaco replied, "Football is all about scoring goals. They expressed themselves and enjoyed the game. Goa are known to play quality football and so I told my players to prove themselves. The goal tally was obviously there in our mind."
Goa need to beat Punjab by at least two goals and hope Mizoram defeat Karnataka to ensure they reach the semifinals. "I am not thinking about results. We will try our best. The players should play according to their talent. They are a talented bunch and are capable of winning games. Let us hope for the best."
Goan captain and man of the match Victorino Fernandes spoke about the team's performance rather than focusing on his own game. He said, "We dominated the match and scored the first goal but Odisha equalised quickly. We came back strongly and scored the goals. Very happy with the performance."
When asked if Armando Colaco's pep talk cheered the team up before the game, the man who notched a hattrick and three assists for the first time in his career said, "Yes he helped us. We played and dominated the match. We played possession football and won the game."