Maharashtra in Santosh Trophy semis

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:53 IST

Former champions Maharashtra stunned formidable West Bengal 2-0 in a Group III quarter-final league match and stormed into the Santosh Trophy semifinals.

Maharashtra in Santosh Trophy semis
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Kochi:

Former champions Maharashtra stunned formidable West Bengal 2-0 in a Group III quarter-final league match and stormed into the semifinals with an all-win record in the Air India Express Santosh Trophy National Football Championship here today. Bengal, who was won the trophy 29 times, has one match against Services on hand, which will now be only of academic interest. Maharashtra, who had defeated Services 5-3 earlier, enjoyed slight upperhand and forged ahead through substitute Reuben D'Souza in the 58th minute and Paresh Shivalkar sealed the fate of the match in their favour with a goal in the 65th. Earlier in a group IV encounter, Goa crushed Assam 6-0. Striker Anthony Pereira, who scored four goals, including a hat-trick played a stellar role for his side. Climax Lawrence through a penalty goal and Cliford Miranda completed the goal tally. In another Group I match played at FACT, Udyogamandal, Uttar Pradesh, despite losing their opening match against Kerala, boosted their chances to qualify for the semi-finals, when they eked out a 2-0 win over Delhi. In a three-team league, UP has collected three points from one win and one loss, while the other team Kerala has three points and has a match against Delhi on hand. If Delhi succeeds in surprising the hosts, which will be a herculean task, UP will enter the last four on better goal average. It has become a must win situation for Kerala against Delhi. In the Maharashtra-Bengal match, the latter's attempt to find an early breakthrough went in vain as Maharashtra tightened the screws in the rear. The wingbacks effectively patrolled the goalmouth never allowing the rival marksman Biswas to dribble in. Bengal maintained the steady flow of forays into the rival goalmouth and looked more dangerous with their lethal attack midway through the session. Maharashtra owed its success to its goalkeeper Israt Kamal, who excelled under the bar showing good anticipation and alertness. But for his brilliant effort the story of the match would have been different. (PTI)

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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