KALYANI: Real Kashmir fired blanks in their final Group D match as they drew 0-0 with FC Goa in Kalyani on Saturday, but it was just but enough to take them to the semi-finals of 2019 Durand Cup.
Both teams entered the match tied on 6 points with Real Kashmir leading with a better goal aggregate. FC Goa needed to win their match at any cost to qualify for the semi-finals while Real Kashmir only needed to avoid defeat, and they managed to achieved that despite a scrappy performance and made it to the semi-finals.
FC Goa dictated the first-half with at least three chances that should have shot them into the lead. Real Kashmir were a pale shadow of themselves as they failed to click.
Just four minutes into the game, Real Kashmir Phurba Lachenpa was called to duty, and he scored full marks by parrying away Liston Colaco’s angled shot from close range.
Colaco, who is a product of Salgaocar FC youth system, was a constant threat for the Real Kashmir backline as he partnered with Lalawmpuia upfront.
Meanwhile, Real Kashmir had their first chance of the encounter in the 16th minute when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box, however, it was expertly punched away by Antonio Dsilva in the FC Goa goal.
Real Kashmir had dodged another bullet in the 23rd minute when Aaron Katebe made a timely tackle to poke the ball off Kingsley Fernandes feet after he was sent through with a delightful backheel flick by Nestor Dias.
FC Goa, at the half hour mark, had another chance when the enterprising Kingsley crossed from the right and Colaco shot first time, but straight at the rival custodian.
Thereafter, neither side were able to create any further chances in the first-half with the score deadlocked 0-0 as the teams headed for the change room at the break.
The second-half resumed on the same tempo with the FC Goa upping their game. However both teams failed to break the deadlock with Real Kashmir smiling in the end, whilst FC Goa bowed out with their heads high.