Goa-India defeat Mozambique to win Lusofonia Games 2014 Football Gold Medal


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Goa-India win gold in Football

The penultimate day of the sporting events at the Lusofonia Games 2014, saw crowds throng to the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, as they watched with bated breath, their team, Goa-India, vie for the coveted Gold Medal against Mozambique, in the states official sport; football.

Goa India celebrates their goal against Mozambique,
Lusofonia Games 2014
The day started off with the tie between Sri Lanka and Macau, with both teams competing for the 3rd spot and a bronze medal. While the overall nature of the game was stolid at best, the result worked in the favour of India's southern rivals with a scoreline of 3-0. Sri Lanka took the lead in the first half, with a goal in the 9th minute by Landa Hewage Kavidu Ishan. With the score stuck firmly at 1-0 at halftime, both teams would need to work harder in the latter half in order to make a significant breakthrough. Sri Lanka came out after the break with a do-or-die mentality and got right to the task of breaking down their opponents. Goals in the 58th and 72nd minute, from H HD Chandrarathna and Johar M Zarwan respectively.

Reflecting on the end result, an exuberant Kolonnage M S Perera, the Coach of Sri Lanka, said, "It was extremely difficult to make headway into their final third. We had to push for more aggressive tactics in the second half in order to consolidate our victory."

Humbled by the result, his Macanese counterpart, Leung Sui Wing, said, "It was not a good day for us. Even at halftime, there was a chance of a come-back. But after conceding the remainder of the goals, morale was low, and we knew that the possibility of a positive result wasn't bright."

By the end of the match, stands started to fill to the brim, and with an absolutely deafening series of roars, the home team took to the pitch, for what was certain to be a clash of titanic proportions in the subsequent game.

As predicted by all, the game got off to a scrappy start, with moments of pure genius by both teams, with Mozambique attempting to use their physical advantage against the hosts. However, within merely 4 minutes from the opening, Goa-India sprang into the lead, through a deftly dispatched goal, courtesy Meldon D'Silva.

Their lead was briefly interrupted by an effort from in the 24th minute, as Mozambique sought to draw level through an excellent drive from Dercio Matimbe, before a 42nd minute penalty was put away by extremely acclaimed prospect, Brandon Fernandes. The second half proved to be a little scrappier, with Goa-India extending their lead in the 51nd minute through a brilliant run down the wing by Myron Manuel Fernandes.
Mozambique managed to peg it back in the 72nd minute through Tubias Devis, but the match had already swayed far too much in Goa-India's direction by then.
A result that many were hoping for eventually came to fruition, with the final score standing at 3-2, in Goa-India's favour.

On the result, Goa-India Coach, Fransisco Neto, said, "We just came here to play the game as best as we could. We never came here to win a medal. Our sole objective was to work hard, and to do our best. At this juncture, it is of paramount importance that I thank the GFA, Savio Messias and Srinivas Dempo, for believing in a young and untried manager. I am glad that I was able to repay their faith in me."

All in all, an excellent day out for the home fans, as Goa-India took home the gold, leaving Mozambique to take the Silver Medal, while Sri Lanka took home the Bronze.
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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