After undefeated dominance in Santosh Trophy, Maharashtra all set for 37th National Games
After a convincing group stage round of the Santosh Trophy, the Maharashtra squad has directly headed toward Goa for the 37th National Games
In an electrifying display of football prowess, the Maharashtra state football team emerged as the unrivaled dominators of the Santosh Trophy group stage. Their extraordinary performance in the domestic football tournament earned them an unbeaten record and a direct ticket to the knockout rounds.
Group Stage Brilliance
During the Santosh Trophy group stage, Maharashtra showcased exceptional team dynamics. Drawn into Group F, the team faced opponents they were expected to outplay on their home turf. However, what followed was nothing short of astounding. Maharashtra demonstrated absolute dominance on the field, underpinned by the unwavering defense, creative midfield play, and sharp attacking skills.
Solid Defensive Fortitude
A significant factor contributing to Maharashtra’s success in the group stage was its solid defensive strategy. The backline led by Dipak Patil, Pavan Mali, and Umesh Perambra demonstrated discipline and organization, standing as an impenetrable wall against their rivals. Dhruwesh Nijap and Yash Shukla also stepped up whenever called upon. Remarkably, throughout the group stage, Maharashtra conceded only one goal, reflecting their defensive prowess.
Midfield Mastery and Attacking Brilliance
The midfield maestros of Maharashtra exhibited remarkable control over the flow of the game. Advait Shinde, and Armash Ansari both were the key playmakers in the middle of the park as the duo displayed a perfect blend of creativity and tenacity. Advait in particular was a goal-scoring threat too for the opponent as he notched 6 goals in the tournament and was one of the top scorers for the side. Armasi played a key role in winning the battle in the middle of the park with timely tackles and was the orchestrator of the number of Maharashtra attacks.
One of the standouts of the squad was once again Johnson Mathew who has become a set-piece specialist in the team with his inch-perfect crosses through the corners and with his free kicks.
Maharashtra’s attacking prowess was equally commendable. The captain – Vice-captain duo of Nikhil Kadam and Himanshu Patil led from the front. Himanshu Patil who finished with 6 goals and Skipper Nikhil Kadam who finished with 4 goals, displayed precise timing and scoring precision throughout the tournament. Their ability to convert opportunities into goals made Maharashtra a formidable force in the tournament. Scoring a total of 24 goals during the group stage, including resounding victories like an 8-0 win over Andaman and Nicobar and a 6-0 triumph against Andhra Pradesh, exemplified their attacking brilliance.
The stellar performances extended beyond the collective effort. Captain Nikhil Kadam, an exemplary leader, inspired the squad with his leadership qualities. Midfield dynamos Advait Shinde and Johnson Joseph Mathews consistently created goal-scoring opportunities, proving to be instrumental playmakers. The clinical finishing of Himanshu Patil, the team’s top goal-scorer, played a pivotal role in their group stage success.
All Eyes on the National Games
With an unblemished record in the Santosh Trophy group stage, Maharashtra is now gearing up for the 37th National Games. Placed in Group B alongside Kerala, Manipur, and Meghalaya, the team faces a new challenge against domestic heavyweights. As they transition to the national stage, all eyes are on Maharashtra’s football prowess and whether they can continue their impressive run of form through the knockout stages.
Maharashtra’s exceptional journey in the Santosh Trophy has set the stage for an exciting campaign in the 37th National Games. Football enthusiasts eagerly await their performance on the grand national platform, where they aim to continue their unbeaten dominance.
The 20-member squad for 37th National Games is as below
1 Nikhil Kadam
2 Pavan Vijay Mali
3 Mohammed Arfat Ansari
4 Yash Shukla
5 Umesh Perambra
6 Sanket Salokhe
7 Mohammed Zaid
8 Mandeep Singh Multani
9 Advait .
10 Kamran Ansari
11 Paramjit Baghel
12 Sheikh Aabid
13 Armash Nasir Ansari
14 Sufiyan Shaikh
15 Shivkumar Shetty
16 Mohd. Rizwan
17 Shanon Pereira
18 Dipak Prakash Patil
19 Khaled Dad Khan
20 Arbaz Pendhari
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