Thursday, February 9, 2023

Nagaland holds Goa 0-0 to remain on top in Santosh Trophy

Group III leaders Nagaland football team held on a goalless draw against 2nd place Goa to remain on top despite a spirited performance from the Goan team at the 76th National Football Championship for Hero Santosh Trophy 2022-23 in Kokrajhar, Assam on Tuesday.
In a must win match for Goa team, Nagaland coach Mughato Aye fielded a defensive team with their goalkeeper Niethovilie Chalieu making two crucial saves for Nagaland team.
Goa got numerous chances to score but could not manage to score as their strikers were left frustrated with some sloppy finishing.
On the other hand, Nagaland failed to make much impact in the match going forward and will be happy with the draw. At the end of the final whistle, Nagaland celebrated the draw like they won the match knowing that a defeat could only land up in trouble for the knockout stage.
Up next, they will face Arunachal Pradesh on January 5 in the last league match of the tournament. While Goa team will play against Tamil Nadu.
After four matches, Nagaland continues to lead the Group 3 tally with 10 points (+4 goal difference) and Goa (+2 goal difference) behind with 8 points.
In the last match, Nagaland victory will ensure the progress of the team in the knockout stage.
However, a defeat in the last match could be decided between the six groups where three best second place team will progress along with six group toppers.
Goa need to win their last match against Tamil Nadu by at least a three-goal margin and hoping Nagaland to drop points against Arunachal Pradesh, to earn direct qualification for the next round.
Earlier on January 1, a brace from goalscoring spree Haileuyibe Iranggau saw Nagaland defeating neighbouring state Assam by 3-1. Nagaland have never qualified for the final round of the Santosh Trophy and will be historic if the team can keep the momentum going on with one match remaining.
In the match, Nagaland striker Iranggau scored two stunning goals in the 24th minute and added his second in the injury time. The second half saw Pursunep scoring in the 47th minute to make it 3-0 for Nagaland. J Deka did score a consolation goal but Nagaland hold on the lead till the end of the final whistle.

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