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69th Santosh Trophy: Punjab beat Maharashtra, Kerala beat Railways

1.91K   //    11 Mar 2015, 13:24 IST
Punjab and Kerala grab crucial points in the group-stage

The last two matches of Santosh Trophy Group Stage saw Punjab blank Maharashtra 2-1 in Group A, while Kerala registered a solitary goal win over Railways in Group B.

With a win necessary to progress, Punjab started the final fixture of Group A on an attacking note. The Punjab contingent displayed the art of beautiful football, but lacked the pivotal touch, but fortune smiled upon Punjab in the 41st minute, when Taranjit Singh essayed in a cross for Sunny, who volleyed the ball into the net. Punjab led by a solitary goal at the interval.

Maharashtra were handed a blow in the 60th minute, as they went a man down, as Karan Atwal was given the marching orders. Within six minutes of playing with a man down, the Maharashtra team conceded another Sunny goal, as Punjab's goal-scorer headed home his opportunity. In the dying moments of the match, Maharashtra garnered a penalty, as Punjab’s Arshdeep hacked down the Maharashtrian striker’ footings.

Skipper Vijith Shetty, halved Maharashtra’s deficit, but in a classic case of too-little-too-late, Punjab snatched a 2-1 victory and progressed into the semifinals.

In Group B, Kerala defeated Railways by a solitary goal scored in the 90th minute of the match by Usman Ashik K., who crafted his way into the opponents' defence and unleashed a venomous shot past the Railways goalkeeper.

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I've been reporting about football since 1998 - as founder of IndianFootball.Com, for other publications &amp; have also worked for radio &amp; television. You can follow me on my "Arunava About Football" blog <a href="">ArunFoot</a> &amp; on <a href="">Twitter</a>
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