| DIPENDU: In great touch
Imphal: Dipendu Biswas slammed four goals to help favourites Bengal launch their campaign in a grand style, defeating Rajasthan 7-0 in their opening league round match of the LG Santosh Trophy in a rain lashed match at the Mapal Kangjeibung ground Sunday.
In other league matches Maharastra and Himachal Pradesh won their respective matches, while two matches were postponed.
Despite the ground being soggy through rain, it was Bengal’s day all the way and Rajasthan could hardly move beyond the midfield. The rains, it seemed, actually narrowed the margin that could have been if the ground had not been so soaked.
The first goal came in the 14th minute when Dipendu’s right-footer off an Amar Pyne pass from the right lodged into the netting. In the 37th minute the Rajasthan goalie made a mess of a collection and Sandip Das found the target easily.
Fed by Amar Pyne again, Dipendu hit a powerful grounder from the right flank in 40th minute for a third goal. A minute later Amar effected a header in style off Surya Bikash Chakraborty to make the score 4-0.
Bengal seemed to have lost interest in the second half, even as Rajasthan showed signs of abject surrender. Play meandered towards the Rajasthan defence zone.
Dipendu scored two more, in the 73rd and 77th minutes, while Amar scored his second in the 52nd minute.
The only hitch in the Bengal play comprised three yellow cards —against captain Debjit Ghosh, Chandan Das and Mehetab Hossain. The captain was cautioned following an argument with the referee.
In another league match Maharastra defeated Chandigarh by two late goals. At the end of the first half the scoreboard read 0-0. In 70th minute Maharastra scored the first goal via a penalty. Jatinder Singh of Rajasthan, who deliberately used his right hand to block a sure goal was given the red card.
The second goal came minutes before the whistle went.
In the third match Himachal Pradesh beat Pondichery by a solitary goal.
The rain damaged grounds forced the organisers to cancel two matches — Punjab vs MP and Bihar vs Andhra Pradesh. The matches will now be held Monday.
As a result of the change, Tuesday’s matches of Assam vs Bihar and Punjab vs Mizoram have been shifted to Wednesday.
Monday’s matches: UP vs Sikkim, Gujarat vs Tripura, Karnataka vs Haryana and Nagaland Vs Delhi.
Cabral to lead Goa
Meanwhile, medio Denis Cabral of Salgaocar will lead the 20-member Goa squad adds PTI from Margao. Goa are in group C along with the winners of cluster I, II and VII. They play their first match October 28 against the winners of cluster III.
Salgaocar boys have topped the list with six players followed by Vasco (four), Dempo, Fransa and Sporting with three players each.
Goalkeeper: Kalyan Chowbey (Salgaocar), Felix D’Souza (Sporting). Defenders: Robert Fernandes, Covan Lawerence (Salgaocar), Bibian Fernandes, Alex Colaco (Sporting), Samir Naik, Melwyn Rodrigues (Dempo) and Selwyn Fernandes (Vasco). Midfielders: Denis Cabral (capt.), Climax Lawerence (Salgaocar), Jules Alberto Dias (Vice-capt), Menino Fernandes (Vasco), Johnny D’Cruz (Dempo), Vio Pereira (Fransa) and Alvito D’Cunha (East Bengal). Forwards: Francis Silveira, Sukhdev Arwade (Fransa), Nitin Pradhan (Vasco) and Alex Ambrose (Salgaocar).
Coach: Norbert Gonsalves. Manager: Sanjeev Narvenkar.