Former champions Kerela defeated Maharashtra to top Group A Quarterfinal round and has advanced to the semifinal of the 66th Santosh Trophy at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Tuesday.
Maharashtra, who had won their first two matches, needed only a draw to advance to the last four. They took the lead in the 8th minute through in-form striker Kailash Patil converting from the spot. But Kerala came from behind strongly and Surjith V.V. equalised in the 10th minute. In the second half, R. Kannan scored a brace to seal victory for Kerala. He scored his first in the 72nd minute and striked his team’s third goal in the 81st minute. Kerala finished on seven points from three matches while Maharashtra ended on six points.
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 just by 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.
Tamil Nadu played a goalless draw with Railways in their last Quarterfinal Group D League match to advance to the semifinal in the 66th Santosh Trophy.
In the Group B match Meghalaya beat Uttar Pradesh 3-0. Ronnie McDonald Nongbri scored the first goal for Meghalaya in the 7th minute while Bansharai Sun doubled the lead 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 group matches.