Maharashtra to face Services in final
Services and Maharashtra will play in the summit clash of the 70th National Championship for the Santosh Trophy after they won their respective semifinals on Friday.
Four-time champions Services stunned formidable Goa 1-0 in the first semifinals while Maharashtra beat Tamil Nadu by a similar margin in the second semifinals at the SEC Railways Stadium.
Interestingly, the lone goals in both the semifinals were own goals. The summit clash will be held on March 13. The first semifinal went into the extra time with both Services and Goa failing to score in the 90 minutes of play. Services dominated the match but could not enforce a win in the normal time and they had to wait till the 115th minute when in a desperate attempt to clear, Goa’s Mohammed Ali kicked it into his own net. Services looked more organised with someone always present to support the other. Vivek Kumar and Francis Zoununtluangn rotated in the midfield with local boy Hardik Kanojia providing able assistance. Man of the Match Arjun Tudu, who was summoned for the national camp prior to the SAFF Cup, proved to be a constant thorn for the Goan team. He impressed with his speed, relentless pressing and never say die attitude.