In the opening game of National Football Championship Santosh Trophy 2018-19, we had to settle for a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Karnataka in a Group B encounter at Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, Punjab.
Ritesh Inumula’s side was in cruise control but conceded two goals against the run of play including a last minute equalizer. Maharashtra started brilliantly when Rohan Shukla broke the deadlock with a neat finish in the 16th-minute.
Fourteen minutes later, Manvir Singh leveled the score for Manivannan’s Karnataka but Maharashtra bounced back with a wonderful play from Sanket Salokhe who restored the lead in the 54th-minute. A win was on cards for Maharashtra but substitute Nikhil Raj got the equalizer in the 92nd-minute to share the spoils.
Maharashtra XI: Owais Khan (GK); Dhurwesh Nijap, Jayesh Kadam, Saurabh Patil, Dion Menezes; Mrunal Tandel, Vinod Pandey, Aman Gaikwad, Rohan Shukla, Lineker Machado; Sanket Salokhe. Substitute appearance: Arif Shaikh and Al Azhar Delhiwala.
Next game: Assam vs Maharashtra – 11th April 2019.