Goa got the better of host Bengal 2-1 in a Group B league encounter to set itself back in the hunt for a semfinal berth in the 68th national football championship for the Santosh Trophy, at Siliguri on Saturday.

Punjab held Railways goalless in another match of the same group earlier in the day.

The 31-time champion Bengal saw its semifinal chances receding as five-time winner Goa mounted a spirited challenge. Goa went ahead in the 24th minute, Agnelo Colaco finishing a nice lob from Steven Fernandes that caught the host defence napping.

Bengal’s equaliser came in the 55th minute when Snehasish Dutta hit the target off a fine assist from Nilkanta Paria.

Goa found the winner in the 87th minute. Lavino Fernandes converted a rebound after Bengal goalkeeper Debjit Majumdar had blocked the first attempt by Prajot Naik.

Goa joined Railways on top of the group table with four points. Railways, however, was in a better position having played a match less than Goa.

TN in the hunt

Tamil Nadu, which has three points from two matches, also remained in the hunt while Punjab saw its chances diminishing with its third successive draw.

Bengal, with only one point from a draw, is at the bottom of the table.

The results: Goa 2 (Agnelo Colaco 24, Lavino Fernandes 87) bt Bengal 1 (Snehasish Dutta 55); Railways 0 drew with Punjab 0. — Principal Correspondent

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