Arif Shaikh’s Late Goal Seals Victory for Maharashtra Over Chhattisgarh

Maharashtra held off a determined Chhattisgarh team to secure a narrow 1-0 victory courtesy of a dramatic late goal by Arif Shaikh in the Hero Santosh Trophy match on Friday.

Both teams came into the game on the back of wins in their opening group games, and it was a cagey start to the match with Maharashtra having the majority of possession but no clear chances.

The first big chance came in the 14th minute when Chhattisgarh midfielder B Gaurav played a quick 1-2 before driving past the Maharashtra defense into the box. Maharashtra goalkeeper Shivam Pednekar came off his line to block Gaurav’s shot from a tight angle.

Maharashtra went close in the 17th minute when a corner saw the ball fall for Omkar Patil, whose shot was deflected goalwards by striker Himanshu Patil, but Chhattisgarh goalkeeper Rohan made a brilliant one-handed save to keep the score at 0-0.

Chhattisgarh’s Abhay Yadav tried his luck from 30 yards out in the 25th minute, but the shot went over the bar. In the 34th minute, Ashley Koli beat his marker to send a cross into the box from the left wing, GK Rohan came out to punch it away but missed the flight of the ball as it came off his defender, a disbalanced Himanshu Patil attempted a shot that went over the bar.

Maharashtra’s Ashley Koli and Chhattisgarh’s Shashwat Dixit race for the ball during their game in the ongoing Santosh Trophy Group IV

At halftime, the score remained 0-0, with Maharashtra making regular attacks in the box but being well-defended by the Chhattisgarh defense, while Chhattisgarh rarely threatened the Maharashtra goal.

The second half started with Maharashtra shifting strategy to take a shot on goal more often, but none of them threatened the Chhattisgarh goal. Chhattisgarh’s Balsai Rajwade found himself in space inside the Maharashtra box in the 75th minute but failed to beat Shivam, who dived to his right to deny him the goal keeping the score 0 – 0.

In the 84th minute, having defended so well, Chhattisgarh finally conceded in a rather comical fashion as they made a joke of a straightforward clearance. Johnson Mathews’ looping ball into the box was struck by Arif near the post, and the ball deflected off the goalkeeper’s gloves but fell for the defender behind. There was a moment of confusion between the defender and goalkeeper as to whether to clear the ball long or collect it, and this allowed the Maharashtra strikers to pounce on the loose ball. There was an absolute melee as players tried to get the ball out, and Arif Shaikh finally managed to get it out on his left leg, taking the shot past the players and into the net to send the crowd into raptures as Maharashtra took the lead.

Striker Arif Shaikh, who struck the winning goal for Maharashtra, battles for the ball against Chhattisgarh Midfielder Ashim Kujur

In the final minutes, Chhattisgarh won a freekick just outside the box. Maharashtra Goalie Shivam came off his line and punched away the dangerous cross into the box as the Maharashtra defense closed out the game to secure the 1-0 victory.

Also Read: Mumbai City FC sign 18-year-old goalkeeper Ahan Prakash

Also Read: Maharashtra Olympic Games: Mumbai Girls’ reaches finals; Boys to play for Bronze

Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…


Sunday Boys to hold trials for MFA 1st Division

MFA 1st division side Sunday Boys FC will be conducting trials in the first week of November for the upcoming football season Sunday Boys Football Club was established in the…


Millat FC to hold trials for MFA Elite Premier League

Millat FC – a club plying their trade in MFA Elite Division will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2022-23 season Last season Millat had a decent run in…


MFA Elite Division club KSA to conduct trials for the upcoming season

Karnataka Sporting Association (KSA) – a club plying their trade in MFA Elite Division will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2022-23 season Last season KSA had an amazing…


Young Guns Football Acadmey to conduct trials for their upcoming MFA 3rd Division Campaign

MFA 3rd Division club Young Guns Football Academy will be conducting open trials on October 9th for their upcoming season in Mumbai Football Young Guns Football Academy was founded in…


OSCAR SSE to conduct trials for Youth I League and YPL team in the U13 category in Mumbai

Mumbai-based OSCAR SSE will conduct trials for their Youth I League and YPL team on 16th and 17th July 2022 at Wings Sports Centre ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star…