Santosh Trophy 2018: West Bengal register big win over Maharashtra while Chandigarh hold Manipur
On day 3 of the 72nd Santosh Trophy in Kolkata, the home side and defending Champions West Bengal got their second win while Manipur earned their first points.
Match 1: West Bengal 5-1 Maharashtra
Fresh from their win over Manipur, Bengal coach Ranjan Chowdhury named an unchanged XI as striker Jiten Murmu continued to lead the line. Meanwhile, Maharashtra coach Augusto D'Silva started with the 5-4-1 formation with Ranjeet Singh lined up as the lone striker.
Defending Champions clinched their second win of the tournament as they routed Maharashtra 5-1 at the Sailen Manna Stadium, Howrah. Bengal got off to a sloppy start as Maharashtra took the lead within 9 minutes of play through Leander Dharmai. Bengal pressed hard in the later stages of the first half and got several chances, but the forwards upfront squandered every chance with poor finishing.
Maharashtra somehow managed to hold on to the game up to half time but it was all Bengal in the second half. The pressure paid off as the host restored the parity at the 55th-minute mark. Sumit Das held off a defender on the left flank and floated in a cross to the far post finding Manotosh Chakladar to slot past Maharashtra keeper Manav Baraskar.
Bengal’s continued pressure yielded another goal in the 62nd minute when Jiten got on the score-sheet after he slotted home from Tirthankar Sarkar's free-kick to put the Bengal into the lead.
Maharashtra tried to get back into the game with few long balls floated in, but the Bengal defence managed to clear them to safety. Bengal tripled the lead through East Bengal Academy Graduate Bidyasagar Singh in the 79th minute. The youngster struck again to score Bengal's fourth in the 82nd minute. Substitute Rajon Barman then slotted in from Babun Das' pass to round off the tally at the final whistle.
Bengal will next play Chandigarh on 25 March at the Mohun Began Ground while Maharashtra will face the same opponent at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on March 23.
Match 2: Chandigarh 1-1 Manipur
Chandigarh and Manipur played out a 1-1 draw in their second match of the 72nd Santosh Trophy 2017-18 at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, Kolkata. Ngangbam Naocha scored the opening goal for Manipur in the 25th minute with Vivek Rana equalising for Chandigarh in the 65th minute.
Chandigarh got off to a confident start as they completely dictated terms and shared lion's share of possession in the initial minutes of the game. However, the side from Punjab and Haryana's Capital could not use their share of possession to their advantage by not finishing off their chances and were accordingly punished later on.
Manipur opened the scoring in the 25th minute as Nagamba Naocha slotted home, a brilliant through ball which the Chandigarh defence failed to read.
Chandigarh went all guns blazing in the latter stages of the first half but Manipur held them on and went into the break with a 0-1 lead to the North-Eastern side.
The North Indian side got the second half underway with intense pressing and finally restored parity through Vivek Rana in the 65th minute. Chandigarh continued their pressing for the rest of the match, looking for the lead but the Manipuri side absorbed the pressure upto full time to get their first points on board.
Manipur and Chandigarh remain at the bottom of Group A after splitting points in this game. Manipur next face Kerala on Friday, 23 March while Chandigarh meet Maharashtra on the same day.