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

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

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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