In a day of stalemates, a high flying West Bengal were held to a 1-1 draw by the Services in Group A, while Goa played out a 2-2 draw against Mizoram in Group B of the 69th National Football Championships for the Santosh Trophy 2015, held in Punjab.
The top of the table clash in Group A witnessed a volatile affair, as both Services and West Bengal, fought for supremacy.
Services started the match on an offensive note and in the 2nd minute cashed in on their start. Arjun Tudu, placed home the opening goal of the match and crafting his way through the West Bengal defence.
Howbeit, West Bengal equalized within sixty seconds of conceding, as Raja Das merged forces with Bijay Mandi and Jiten Murmu, to produce beautiful yet deadly play of the ball to bundle home his chance.
At the interval, the scores read one all.
Both teams tried to maze through each other’ defences in the second half, but to no avail.
An emphatic display of football saw both teams entwine in end to end stuff, whilst nullifying each other and playing out a 1-1 draw.
In Group B, Goa’s chances of qualification were wiped away by a rampant Mizoram, as the latter held the former to a 2-2 draw.
In a must win situation, the Goa contingent opened their goal scoring tally in the 11th minute. Marcus Mascarenhai’s powerful attempt deceived Mizoram’s Goalkeeper and ended in the back of the net.
After conceding, the Mizoram contingent piled pressure on their opponents and their increasing efforts were rewarded in the 19th minute of the match, when Zico sublimely converted his chance and leveled their deficit.
Nevertheless, a resurgent Goan side once again took control of a topsy-turvy match in the 31st minute, when Zico, once again latched onto a defence splitting pass and gave Goa the lead.
At the interval, the score-line read 2-1 in favor of the Goan contingent.
This highly volatile encounter once again faced a drastic change of scenario, in the 47th minute. After controlling the ball with utmost grace, Malsawm Fela, put Mizoram on level terms as his thunderous effort found the back of the net.
With victory snatched out of their very hands, then Goan contingent took attack as a form of defence and latched onto any opportunity to test Mizoram’s Goalkeeper. However, the Mizoram backline held firm and thwarted every Goan attempt to play out a 2-2 draw at the end of ninety minutes.
(Report courtesy AIFF Media)