8th February 2019, Solapur: The Hero Santosh Trophy (West Zone Qualifiers) 2019 has gone underway in Solapur District from 7th February. Earlier today, Maharashtra played their first game of the campaign against Gujarat and went on to register a comprehensive 4-1 win to kick-start their journey on a positive note.
Being grouped with Rajasthan, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and Gujarat, Maharashtra needed a good start and Ritesh Inumula’s side made sure to execute it perfectly. Gujarat never looked threatening and was easily overrun in the midfield with Maharashtra’s Vinod Pandey, Mrunal Tandel, Lineker Machado, and Rohan Shukla displayed an outstanding performance.
Maharashtra got an early breakthrough when they were awarded a penalty. Arif Shaikh stepped up and comfortably converted the penalty past Gujarat’s Goalkeeper Kishan Sulegai in the 7th minute. Just three minutes later, Mrunal doubled the lead with a stunning finish.
As the dust seemed to settle down, Maharashtra increased the tempo in the second-half and scored two goals in space of 10 minutes to go 4-0 up inside an hour. Lineker, Maharashtra’s Captain, scored the third goal before Rohan Shukla added the fourth and Maharashtra’s final goal of the game.
Gujarat’s Musamiyan Syed did pull a goal back for Chandan Rathod’s side but the game was already beyond Gujarat’s reach. A commendable display by Maharashtra as they look forward to booking their berth in the final round of Santosh Trophy.