Match Day Report – Group A – Maharashtra Vs West Bengal

In the second match of Group A in  72nd Santosh Trophy we saw an exciting match between Maharashtra and Bengal at the Sailen Manna Stadium, Howrah.

Once kick – off  took place Bengal were attacking from right to left and Maharashtra from left to right. In the second minute Bengal got an early chance but a heavy through ball from  captain Jiten Murmu resulted in the ball going away from the Bengal attacker. Bengal won  their first corner in the third minute and Tirthankar Sarkar floated  the ball  efficiently but it was headed away by the  Maharashtra defence. Bengal looked like the better of the two sides in the initial minutes as they won another corner in the fourth minute.

Bengal were trying their luck with Sumit Das who was called for an offside in the initial moments. Maharashtra were finding it difficult to build any momentum. They were constantly struggling to keep possession of the ball. In the fifth minute a  terrific run was  made by Bidyashagar Singh who then passed it to Jiten Murmu who led a  crack at the goal but was saved by the keeper.

In the ninth minute Leander Dharmai scored for Maharashtra against the run of play. In  defensive mistake by Maharashtra  Babun Das  grabbed the opportunity and took  a long shot but the ball went flying over the cross bar.

Bengal constantly tried  to build an attack but constructive play looked missing. Maharashtra .In the twenty fourth minute Bengal missed  a sitter in front of the goal with Sumit Das behind it. In the twenty ninth minute both teams went into water break as the humid day seems to be playing its part.

Bengal were  close to scoring in the thirty seventh minute but a poor touch from forward Jiten Murmu let the team down. Bengal were creating ample opportunities chances but their finishing was letting them down. Goalkeeper Manav Baraskar was efficient in reading most the crosses  and collected  the ball again and again. Poor defending by Bengal led Maharashtra to doubling the lead but the danger was averted by Bengal.

Four minutes  were added before halftime as Bengal tried  to score their solitary goal before the end of first half. Just after the first half we saw Sumit Das and Bidyashagar Singh swapped wings because they were being marked . Bengal were trying to open their mark whereas Maharashtra were efficient in  averting all possible attacks.

Maharashtra started the second half with Bengal making an early attack followed by excellent dribbling by Sumit Das. Maharashtra defence somehow survived  a flurry of attacks.

Maharashtra goalkeeper Manav Baraskar faced a mild injury scare in the fifty third minute . A goal from the defender Monotosh Chakladar equalised  for Bengal from  Ankit Mukherjee’s cross. Maharashtra restarted  the game and looked to build up an attack. In the first  substitution  for Maharashtra goalkeeper Manav Baraskar went off due to an injury  and Faizan Akhtar replaced him at  the goal for Maharashtra.

Captain Jiten Murmy finally hit a beautiful header in the sixtieth minute but the goal was disallowed due to a foul against him. However in the next two minutes  Bengal won a free kick outside the box with  beautiful assist by Tirthankar Sarkar that led to  an absolute finesse header by Jiten Murmu into the back of the net.

In the second substitution for  Maharashtra  Sahil Bhokare  was brought in, in place of the injured right back Nikhil Prabhu. Bengal kept trying  to  penetrate  with progressive runs  but  were stopped by the  defenders of Maharashtra. Midfielder Sumit Das was having a bad day as in an attempt to give a fine pass he lost the ball.

There was a second  water break for both the teams in the seventy sixth minute. Bidyasagar Singh  showed some excellent skill by making an inch perfect pass across the goal but Maharashtra hit  it out for a corner.

Maharashtra looked  desperate for a goal but were not able to make the attacks count. In the first substitution for Bengal Sujay Dutta came  in for Sumit Das. Bidyashagar Singh scores the third goal for Bengal in the seventy ninth minute increasing the lead by two. Bengal were completely dominating the game . Bidyashagar Singh scores his second goal in the eighty second minute and gave Bengal a three goal lead over Maharashtra. In Bengal’s second substitution captain  Jiten Murmu was sent off  and forward Rajon Barman replaced the captain. In what appeared to be the final substitution for Bengal Tirthankar Sarkar was sent  off and was replaced by Sanchayan Samadder. Substitue Sujay Dutta made two attempts from a pass by Sanchayan Samadder but it hit  the Maharashtra defender. Super sub Rajon Barman scored majestic goal with an excellent volley in the eighty ninth minute  extending Bengal’s lead by 4 goals.

Four minutes of injury time were added  at the end of the ninety minutes. In the dying moments of the match  Bengal were looking forward  to score  with  Bidyashagar Singh coming  very close to scoring the sixth goal but the Maharashtra goalkeeper Faizan Akhtar saved  it this time. An emphatic victory for team Bengal as they come from behind to score five goals in the second half to register Bengal’s second win in the final round of 72nd edition Santosh Trophy.


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