BAMBOLIM: Goa played out a goalless draw against West Bengal in the Santosh Trophy, at Athletic Stadium, Bambolim, on Thursday.
The hosts remain unbeaten with four points from two games while the visitors also have seven points from three outings.
Coach Mateus Costa kept an unchanged team from the starting eleven that beat Meghalaya 2-1 in the tournament opener, with Liston Fernandes and Latesh Mandrekar spearheading the Goa’s strike force.
However, both the teams couldn’t break the deadlock in the first half as they failed to create any real chances in the game.
While Goa’s defence was feeble, the visitors strikers failed to take their chances with Moirangthem, Manvir and Mumtaz missing opportunities to give their side the lead.
At the other end, Goa’s striking pair –Liston and Latesh were locked down by West Bengal’s stopper back Ankit Mukherjee and Provat Lakra not giving the duo any room to create any chances.
Goa lacked the rhythm and composure in the team as the players failed to gel on the field.
Mateus’ men left the spectators upset with poor performance with ample of wrong passes and wrong decision making.
In the 6th minute, Assumption Soares made a fine run on the left flank before sending in a cross, which was poorly headed in by Francisco Fernandes straight at the keeper.
Goa would have been a goal down in the 12th minute when keeper Agnelo Gomes slipped Melvin Lobo’s back pass at West Bengal’s Moirangthem Basanta Singh feet.
Moirangthem could have easily rounded the keeper, but the striker played Manvir Singh, who had the better chance to score with the keeper out of the goal, but the young lad shot wide with just Goa’s Melvin on the goal line.
At the half-hour mark West Bengal’s Mumtaz Aktar’s long range effort Goa had the best chance in the 40th minute when the hosts were awarded a free-kick outside the box. Liston’s free-kick took the deflection of the wall before Leander D’Cunha saw his effort sail over the bar.
West Bengal could have taken the lead just before the break when Moirangthem ran down the left flank before setting up Manvir Singh in the box, but the lanky striker’s low effort failed to challenge the Goa custodian Agnelo Gomes.
Post resumption, Goa were countered by the visitors as they used the width to penetrate into the territory but the hosts who had the first shot at the goal when Liston aimed the keeper from the set-piece.
Manvir Singh made use of his physique to the best of his ability as he won most of the tackles against Peter Carvalho and Melvin. The Goan defence lacked the persistence.
The WB striker almost scored in the 52nd minute but only to see his power-packed strike hit straight at the keeper.
The second half saw the visitors pressing Goa in all departments of the game while Goa relied mainly on counters.
Manvir and Moriangthem were a constant threat to Goa’s defence but Peter Caralho showed the experience counts during crises as he and Melvin shielded Goa’s goal.
In the 65th minute, Agnelo pulled out a stunning save to deny WB’s Debasis Pradshan.
In the 90th minute, West Bengal’s keeper Sankar Roy denied a Cajetan Fernandes free-kick when the custodian dived fully on his right to pull off a stunning save to keep the score-line intact.
Meanwhile in Vasco, defending champions Services scored through a penalty to earn a 1-0 win over Chandigarh and keep their semis hopes alive.
Zountlunga converted the spot kick in the 8th minute to script Services’ first win of the tournament.