Maharashtra shoot down Haryana to make quarters

Maharashtra U18 Girls team

Mumbai: Maharashtra girls’ held their nerves in the crucial penalty shootout to pip Haryana 3-2 via the tie-breaker (overall 4-3) in the concluding Group-C league of the AIFF National Girls’ Under-18 Football Championship, played at the Raia Ground, Goa. The scores were tied 1-all at the end of regulation period.

Both Maharashtra and Haryana had defeated Sikkim, the third team in the group, by an identical 2-0 margin and as the match finished in a draw the tie-breaker was resorted to decide which team progresses to the quarter-final league.

Both the teams played free flowing football. Maharashtra did more of the attacking and put lot of pressure on their rivals in both halves. The Maharashtra girls missed a number of chances as they either foiled by some fine saves by the Haryana custodian or poor shooting.

Deep in the second half, Maharashtra scored through their international Bhagyashree Sawant in the 86th minute and just when it seemed that the outcome of the match was decided, Haryana snatched a late equalizing goal in injury time.

In the penalty kicks duel, Maharashtra scored three, while Haryana managed to convert just two.

Maharashtra have now qualify for the Quarter-Final Group stage, which will commence on Monday, October 12. The first game is against Manipur at 3.00pm.

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