Maharashtra fails to qualify despite 2-0 win over Kerala in Santosh Trophy

Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017,10:08 IST By joji A A A

Vasco | Last year’s runners-up Maharashtra scored a comfortable 2-0 win over Kerala but failed to qualify for the semifinals of the Santosh Trophy since they finished third in Group B, here Tuesday.

Maharashtra scored through Vaibhav Shirley (34th) and Shrikant Veeramallu (59th) to finish third with six points.

They needed not only a win but also required Mizoram to draw against Railways but Mizoram spanked Railways 5-1 to finish second with seven points.

Mizoram had same point as Kerala but were placed second since they had lost to them 1-0. Top two teams made it to the semifinal stage.

Mizoram will meet West Bengal while Goa will clash with Kerala in the semifinals on Thursday.

Kerala rested three of their key players did not look thrustful today in their attack, allowing the rivals to do most of the attacking who need a victory to stay afloat in their tournament.

Kerala who held their forte intact relied on quick counter moves and had the first chance to surge ahead in the 19th minute when Muhammed Parakkottil sent a high cross inside the box from the left but Usman P headed over after rival keeper Aditya Mishra left his charge to punch the aerial ball but failed.

Maharashstra, who did bulk of the attacking, had the best chance to equalise in the 32th minute but Shrikant Veeramellu’s feeble shot from close was collected by rival keeper off a pass from Aaron Dcosta.

After this close shave, Kerala citadel finally fell two minutes later. Hardworking Aaron Dcosta worked his way on the right and sent a measured cross into the box for Vaibhav Shirley who headed in.

Maharashtra could have led 2-0 at half time when Vaibhav again found the net with a header in the dying minutes but was ruled off-side by assistant referee.

Maharashtra increased the lead in the 59th minute when Aaron DCosta from the right sent a cross into the box for Shrikant Veeramallu who shot home from inside the box to give Maharashtra a comfortable win.