Pathan nets winner for 10-man Maharashtra

Mumbai, March 4: Prolific scorer Shahbaz Pathan hogged the limelight by scoring the all-important winning goal in 10-man Maharashtra’s superb 1-0 win against last year’s runners-up Mizoram in a Group-B league match of the 70thNational Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy, conducted by WIFA under the auspices of AIFF, hosted by NDFA and played at the SEC Railway Stadium, Nagpur, on Friday. After a barren first session, Pathan, the livewire of the Maharashtra attack hit the back of the net in the 66thminute to clinch a decisive win for the westerners.

Mahrashtra played the second half with a man short as goalkeeper Owais Khan, who deliberately handled the ball outside his area, was given a direct red card in the first additional minute of the first half.

This was the third successive win for Maharashtra, who are now virtually assured of a place in the semi-final from this group. Maharashtra, have a match in hand against Services on Sunday. For Mizoram this was their first defeat after they shared honours with Railways in the earlier round.

Meanwhile, defending champions Services scored once in each half to overcome Railway 2-1 in another Group-A match played at the University Stadium. Vipin T.V. scored the opening goal in the 14th minute before Vivek Kumar got the second in the 67th minute to seal Services win. Jagtar Singh scored the lone goal for Railways in the 51st minute. This was the second win for Services, who had earlier defeated J&K 1-0, while Railways suffered their second defeat in three games.

Results –Pool-A: Maharashtra 1 (Shahbaz Pathan 66th) beat Mizoram 0.

Services 2 (Vipin T.V. 14th, Vivek Kumar 67th) beat Railways 1 (Jagtar Singh 51st).

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