Maharashtra thrashed Manipur by 7-0

We witnessed today in what seems to be an action packed game between Maharashtra and Manipur in match no.17 of the 72nd  edition of Santosh Trophy at the Sailen Manna Stadium, Howrah .
The first few minutes had  both teams having a 50-50 possession of the ball but none had resulted in any major goal threatening move.In the fifth minute  Maharashtra  build up with quick passes but the final cross into the box lacked any power followed by a early yellow card for Shubham Mane from Maharashtra for what seemed like a deliberate handball. Maharashtra had better ball possession and build up opportunities till then but failed to make the difference with the final balls. Manipur tried  to get some rhythm into their game but were unable  to do so .Again a lobbed pass into the box went straight to the Maharashtra goalkeeper in the ninth minute. Manipur made an attack  with a throw-in and continued  attack down the left flank ,with a cross that found the header by Netrajit Singh but went  wide off the post. Manipur scored through No.6 Chanso Horam  in the seventeenth minute to attain the lead with help of a penalty that seemed like a fifty-fifty challenge.
Manipur continued with the build up down the left flank but it was  stalled by the Maharashtra defence.Maharashtra continued  building up with short passes but with  another misplaced pass , they lost the ball.Maharashtra advanced with  long balls forward and now played short passes around the box. A cross into the box in the twenty sixth minute but the ball went across the face of the goal The first substitution for Maharashtra was Samson Joseph who  made  his way in and Siddharth Colaco was replaced in the twenty seventh minute.
Maharashtra equalised with a goal from Sahil Bhokare from a set-piece opportunity in the twenty eight minute.Manipur tried to spend sometime on the ball but failed to do so owing to the good pressing by Maharashtra. Manipur on the counter in the thirty ninth minute ,saw  crack from Jerry and was blocked by the Maharashtra defence. Manipur converted from the spot as Dhananjoy Singh takes his team into the lead with another penalty in the fortieth minute.  Maharashtra continued with their attack from the right flank and a took shots with the goalkeeper of Manipur coming to the rescue each time.  Manipur had  another brilliant attack with forward Naocha in the dying moments of first half,but this time the Maharashtra goalkeeper saved the shot. Four minutes were added by the referee before half time.
After the first half Maharashtra continued with their pursuit for goals in the second half with a first effective run that was blocked . Manipur had replaced their goalkeeper captain Salam Singh with start of the second half bringing in Loitongbam Singh.
In their second substitution midfielder Sahil Bhokare was taken off and defender  Nikhil Prabhu was brought in in the fifty first minute. Defender Ninong Chiphang was brought in and no.6 was  Chanso Horam was ruled out for the north eastern side. Maharashtra continued with many short passes and a quick release for the left flank and they win a corner followed by a free-kick in the sixth eight minute  with an  acrobatic volley but the shot missed the target by miles.In the sixty seventh minute Leander Dharmai was brought  in ,and Samson Joseph was sent out.A  goal from Ranjeet Singh brought in the equalizer in the fifty seventh minute with the pursuit continued by substitute Nikhil Prabhu  on the seventy sixth minute
Ranjeet Singh scored his brace in the very next minute owing an excellent run and successful finish.Kiran Pandhare followed  with his  header in the eighty sixth minute creating a gap of 3 goals and increasing the lead..Maharashtra maintained the ball possession and made constant attacks at the North-East side.
Four minutes of extra saw two goals coming in,in quick succession .The first was by Ranjeet Singh who completed his hat trick in the very first minute of extra time and the second was in the third minute of extra time by midfielder No.19 Mohammed Ansari who scored and created a five goal lead.However the second yellow card for the western side was in the form of Leander Dharmai.Today’s match was an example of learning during match process and hence opened the winning halo for Maharashtra.

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