Premier Futsal: Goa thrash Bengaluru to enter semi-finals

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Mapusa (Goa), July 21: With Brazilian football star Cafu as a marquee player, an aggressive Goa 5s outclassed Bengaluru 5s 3-0 and sealed a semi-final spot in Premier Futsal here today (July 21).

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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.

Goa's Cafu is seen in action against Bengaluru

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 cheered 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.

PTI

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