Kerala defeated Maharashtra to top Group A Quarterfinal round and advance to the semifinal of the 66th Santosh Trophy at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Tuesday (May 22). Maharashtra who had won their first two matches needed a draw to make it to the last four took the lead in the 8th minute – Kailash Patil converting from the spot.
But Kerala hit back soon as Sujit equalised in the 17th minute. In the second half, Kannan scored a brace to seal the issue for Kerala. He scored his first in the 72nd minute and then put it beyond Maharashtra’s reach scoring his team’s third goal in the 81st minute.
Kerala finished on 7 points from three matches while Maharashtra ended on 6 points.
Consolation win for West Bengal
Meanwhile, defending champions West Bengal who had earlier bowed out of the tournament defeated Punjab 2-1 in their last Group League match. After Gurmeet Singh put Punjab in the lead in the 16th minute, Mohd. Mukhtar and Tapan Maity scored one apiece for West Bengal in the 17th and the 87th minute.
West Bengal finished on four points from 3 matches while Punjab couldn’t open their account.
Manipur book semifinal berth
In the Group B decider at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhuwaneshwar, Manipur played a 2-2 draw with Goa and advanced to the semifinal piping Goa on better goal difference. Both teams finished on 7 points from 3 matches but Manipur by virtue of better goal difference (+7) in comparison to Goa’s (+3).
For Manipur, Thoi Singh scored the first goal in the 19th minute which was neutralized by Gabriel Fernandes in the 26th minute. Prathesh Shirodkar put Goa in the lead in the 45th minute but Govin Singh restored parity for Manipur in the 70th minute.
Meghalaya win: In an inconsequential match of the Group, Meghalaya beat Uttar Pradesh 3-0. Ronnie scored the first goal for Meghalaya in the 7th minute while Bansharai doubled the score in the 18th minute. Timmy Ryngkhlem scored the third goal in the 82nd minute.
Meghalaya finished on three points from three matches while Uttar Pradesh lost all their matches.
(AIFF Press Release)