The fourth matchday of Santosh Trophy Group F saw Maharashtra continue their dominance, securing a resounding 3-1 victory against a spirited Tripura side.
The match commenced with a cagey start, as Tripura’s staunch defense initially held Maharashtra’s attacking advances at bay. The Tripura side remained resolute, thwarting Maharashtra’s efforts.
However, it was in the 13th minute when the deadlock was finally broken. Captain Nikhil Kadam delivered a sensational long ball over Tripura’s defense, perfectly timed for Armash Ansari. Ansari exhibited incredible speed and precision as he outpaced the offside trap, then elegantly lobbed the ball over the oncoming keeper, granting Maharashtra a well-deserved 1-0 lead.
Tripura’s woes deepened in the 24th minute when their defender, Moinuddin, received his second yellow card within the span of two minutes, resulting in a red card. His second foul, a high boot to the face of Armash Ansari, reduced Tripura to ten men. The match saw a total of five yellow cards handed out to Tripura within the first 28 minutes.
Despite being a player down, Tripura displayed resilience in their defense, and their keeper made crucial interceptions of crosses to keep the scoreline unchanged until the halftime whistle.
The second half witnessed a spirited Tripura side, initially defending well before gaining confidence and launching their own attacking moves. Their efforts bore fruit in the 67th minute when a long ball from the defense was capitalized on by Bilash Debbarma. His cross into the box was met by Yash Shukla, but the rebound fell perfectly for Tripura’s captain, Lalvenga Darlong, who slotted it home, equalizing the score at 1-1.
Maharashtra didn’t waste time responding. Just two minutes later, they were awarded a penalty as Armash Ansari was fouled inside the box. Captain Nikhil Kadam calmly stepped up and converted the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way and restoring Maharashtra’s lead at 2-1.
Tripura fought back with determination, but Maharashtra’s defense held firm, thwarting their attempts to score.
In the first minute of injury time, Maharashtra executed a clever corner. Captain Nikhil Kadam played a quick corner kick, passing it to Advait, who set it up for an unmarked Himanshu in front of the goal. Himanshu tapped the ball in effortlessly, sealing Maharashtra’s 3-1 victory.
With this impressive win, Maharashtra continued their remarkable winning streak, securing four consecutive victories and maintaining their position at the top of the group table.