Santosh Trophy 2018 roundup: Mizoram and Punjab complete come-from-behind victories

AIFF Media
Six-time champions Goa were downed 3-1 by Mizoram while Odisha had to bear the brunt of losing 2-1 to Punjab despite scoring first...

The second day of the 72nd Santosh Trophy final round saw two Group B encounters kick-off in Kolkata and Howrah on Tuesday. 2013-14 champions Mizoram defeated six-time winners Goa by a 3-1 margin at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium while Odisha were downed 2-1 by Punjab at the Howrah Stadium.

Led by former FC Goa and Mumbai FC forward Victorino Fernandes, Goa had the likes of former I-League players Beevan D'Mello, Mackroy Peixoto and veterans Peter Carvalho and Mathew Gonsalves in the lineup. Former East Bengal man Joaquim Abranches and Shallum Pires could only make the bench.

Victorino opened the scoring as early as the 11th minute with a wonderful pass from Marcus Mascarenhas down the left. Former Aizawl FC striker F.Lalrinpuia (Valpuia) equalised in the 25th minute and was also awarded a yellow card, all in the first half.

A wasteful Mizoram could have easily pumped in half a dozen goals against a listless Goa defence post the break. However, it was only for Lal Romawia's (81st minute and 84th minute) two quick goals within three minutes that sealed the deal for the north-easterners.

Goa head coach Armando Colaco conceded after the game  that his team were poor and warned his players. He said, "I don't know what they were doing out there. If they play like this, I have told them I will leave."

Punjab Odisha Santosh Trophy 2018

Meanwhile, at the Howrah Stadium, Odisha took the lead through Arpan Lakra in the 62nd minute after both sides found it tough to get going for the first hour of the game. 

Odisha did look likely to cause an upset but missed a host of chances, especially at the end of the first half as Punjab goalkeeper Moses Anthony showed steady glovemanship.

With only half an hour to go and 1-0 down, Punjab showed some urgency and skipper Sarbjit headed home from a corner to restore parity in the 70th minute.

Some solid defending from Punjab thereafter and a bit of luck with a Rudra Prasad Pradhan own goal in the 82nd minute helped the north-Indian state stage a comeback and register all three points.

Both Punjab and Mizoram are tied at the top of Group B with three points each but the latter edge out owing to a superior goal difference.