Santosh Trophy Round-up: Mizoram, Maharashtra secure semi-final berths

The champions Services and runners-up Kerala of last year's competition have both been eliminated after defeats to Mizoram and Maharashtra respectively.
Mizoram clinched their maiden Santosh Trophy semi-final berth following a 4-1 mauling of defending champions Services in a Group B encounter at the Kachenjunga Stadium, Siliguri on Sunday. The win saw the north-east state secure top spot in the group with a perfect record of 3 wins in 3 games.

From a free-kick, Services goalkeeper Nanao punched the ball away but only to KC Lalchhuanmawia who executed a low drive from just inside the box to give Mizoram the lead.

They doubled their advantaged a few minutes later when David Lalrinmuana's through ball sent Zico Zoremsanga clean through on goal who neatly tucked away his finish.

Services halved the deficit just before half-time as Arjun Tudu's effort nestled in the far corner in the 43rd minute. However, Mizoram restored their two-goal advantage in the 71st minute when Zico set up V Laltanpuia for their third.

Zico was instrumental yet again as it was his pass that released Lalbiakhlua who took his shot early in order to evade the onrushing Services custodian, making it 4-1.

Meanwhile, Alan Dias' second-half strike saw Maharashtra through against Kerala, the runners-up of last year's tournament.

Substitute Sushant Bhivgade intercepted a pass in the 77th minute and played in Alan who showed great composure in slotting the ball past the advancing Kerala keeper, thereby booking his side's place in the semi-finals.

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