In an exhilarating final group-stage showdown between Maharashtra and Telangana at the Santosh Trophy, the table-topping Maharashtra team displayed its dominance with a commanding 3-0 victory.
The game kicked off with Telangana showing initial signs of impatience and a few early errors. However, they gradually settled into the match.
The contest evolved into a tale of two halves. During the first half, both teams exhibited strong defensive organization, occasionally testing each other’s backlines. Maharashtra maintained a firm grip on possession throughout the game, while Telangana resorted to long balls.
The second half commenced with both sides striving to break the deadlock and probe each other’s defenses. In the 74th minute, Maharashtra secured the breakthrough when Advait Shinde won possession in midfield. Maharashtra’s captain, Nikhil Kadam, pushed forward and played a precise through ball to Himanshu Patil, who then elegantly fed Advait Shinde. Shinde showcased brilliant composure, calmly slotting the ball into the net, giving Maharashtra the lead.
Telangana seemed to lose control of the game after conceding the first goal. Just six minutes later, Maharashtra doubled their advantage to 2-0, courtesy of an inch-perfect corner delivered by number 20, Satish Hawaldar. Though the initial header was saved, Umesh Peramba was there to capitalize on the rebound, leaving him unmarked in the box, comfortably extending the lead to 2-0.
The third and final goal came in the dying moments of the game, as Maharashtra earned a corner. A quick corner was taken by Johnson Joseph Mathews, who promptly received the ball again to deliver a precise cross to Himanshu Patel. Patel executed a textbook header, effectively sealing the victory for Maharashtra.
With this impressive win, Maharashtra concludes the group stage as the table-toppers, having secured all nine points.