Maharshtra kick off Santosh Trophy campaign against rivals Goa today

Santosh Trophy

Maharashtra will kick off their Santosh trophy campaign with a tough first opening game against Goa today. The West Zone qualifying round is held at Rajkot in Gujarat. The home side got off to a good start with a 5-1 thrashing of Diu & Daman yesterday, but all eyes will be on the game between Maharashtra & Goa, which are arguably the two best teams in the group.

Maharashtra announced their squad for the Santosh trophy last week which included eleven players from Mumbai, five players from Nagpur, two from Pune and one each from Aurangabad and Kolhapur.

The Maharashtra team will be coached by ONGC coach Caetino Pinho from Mumbai, while he will be assisted by Sameer Shaikh of Pune. Nagpur’s Iqbal Kashmiri is the team manager who will have Mumbai’s Dharmesh Patel for assistance.’
Maharashtra’s side reflects the coach’s confidence in his side as there six players from ONGC, including goalkeeper Ubaid C.K, striker Kailash Patil and Sachin Gawas. The team is led by Air India’s Vijit Shetty. He is accompanied by his team mated Siddharth Nayak and Praveen Sharma of Air India.

Today’s game with Goa will go a long way in deciding who will top the West Zone Qualifying charts, giving these two heavyweights an opportunity to set an early marker.

Maharashtra has won the Santosh trophy four times in their history while they are second only to West Bengal in terms of appearances in the final round with 15 appearances.

Maharashtra’s credentials will be put to a stern test when they face Goa later today at Rajkot.

Team: Ubaid C.K., Chetan Dawdhariya, Sachin Gawas, Omkar Singh, Vivek Kaira, Floyd Dharmai, Nitesh Munde, Vijith Shetty, Siddarth Nayak, Kailash Patil, Praveen Sharma (Mumbai); Mohd. Shafique, Shahbaz Pathan, Shakti Singh Thakur, Karan Atwal, Amol Yadav (Nagpur); Raviraj Kurne, Sandesh Gadkari (Pune); Mohd. Arif (Aurangabad); Jay Kumar Patil (Kolhapur).
Coach: Caitano Pinho (Mumbai), Asst. Coach: Mr. Sameer Shaikh (Pune), Manager: Iqbal Kashmiri (Nagpur), Asst. Manager: Dharmesh Patel (Mumbai).

Fixtures (West Zone qualifying round)
Jan 10: Gujarat vs Daman & Diu
Jan 11: Maharashtra vs Goa
Jan 12: Gujarat vs Madhya Pradesh
Jan 13: Daman & Diu vs Goa
Jan 15: Maharashtra vs Madhya Pradesh
Jan 16: Gujarat vs Goa
Jan 17: Madhya Pradesh vs Daman & Diu
Jan 18: Maharashtra vs Gujarat
Jan 19: Goa vs Madhya Pradesh
Jan 20: Daman & Diu vs Maharashtra
The top 2 teams from the group will qualify for the final round.

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