Santosh Trophy 2018: Mizoram and Punjab register wins in their respective matches
Punjab showed great character in their opening group tie against Odisha, coming from a goal behind to win 2-1 in their fixture at the Sailen Manna Sports Complex in Howrah, on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, Mizoram also overturned a 1-goal deficit to outclass Goa in their tie at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium.
Punjab was by far the better side in the first half, dictating terms in the midfield. But the frontline strikers Baltej Singh and Prameet Jhutty failed to capitalize and score. It was in the 13th minute that Punjab had the score but Odisha’s defender D.Srinath denied them a goal.
After a stalemate in the first half, Odisha scored the first goal of the match in the 62nd minute by virtue of a strike from Arpan Lakra. They managed to hold on to the lead for only 8 minutes as Sarbjit header made in 1-1 in the 70th.
Following that, Punjab pressed hard on Odisha’s defense, but the latter kept the attacks under control. It was in the 82nd minute that Rudra Prasad’s own goal sealed the tie for Punjab in the Group ‘B’ game at the Howrah Stadium.
Goa was by far the more experienced side and, their star striker Victorino Fernandes who gave them the lead in the 11th minute after receiving an inch-perfect pass from Marcus Mascarenhas. Lalrinpuia, who played in the I-League for Aizawl FC earlier, made it 1-1 in the 25th minute.
Mizoram played well throughout the game, but it was only in the 81st minute that the team from the North East got the lead via a strike from Lal Romawia. He completed his brace two minutes later to register a win for Mizoram in the Santosh Trophy clash.
West Bengal is scheduled to play their next match on Wednesday against Maharashtra while Chandigarh will try to make a fresh start after their humiliating defeat against Kerala when they take on Manipur.