After taking an early lead, Maharashtra failed to maintain the scoreline and ended on equal terms against Services at the end of the day.
On their fourth outing against the defending champions Services, Maharashtra had a dream start to the match. 10 minutes onto the game, Maharashtra received a free-kick outside the box. An effort from Dion Menezes deflected slightly by the opposition defense found the net giving Maharashtra the early lead.
Services put immense pressure ever since they conceded. Failing to cope with the pressure, Nachiket Palav was penalized for a rough tackle on an attacker. However, the defense stood robust and the half time score read in favor of Maharashtra. They led by a solitary goal when the first half concluded.
Nothing changed in the second half as Services kept on maintaining the pressure. Soon as the second half commenced, within three minutes, Nikhil Prabhu picked up a yellow. Niyaj Ahmed Patel followed the list as his rough tackle got him booked.
Maharashtra launched a brilliant attack at the 66th minute when Advait Shinde’s through ball found Pragnesh. Pragnesh made a solo run but his feeble attempt on goal failed trouble the keeper. Within the next two minutes Services earned a penalty. An excellent corner saw an attacker keep the ball on target which was deflected by Dhurvesh’s hand.
Star striker, Lallawmkima PC, made no mistake and put the ball back into the net. After the equalizer, in a sudden melee, Maharashtra coach received a yellow and Services manager picked up a direct red card. Apparently both of them misbehaved with the management and the opposition players. In the end despite best efforts from the Maharashtra the game ended in a 1-1 draw. With this result, Services qualified for the final round of the tournament on the basis of better goal differences.
After putting in a great effort, the final whistle of the match concluded Maharashtra’s qualification hopes. On the other hand, Services qualified from Group A of the West Zone Qualifiers of the Santosh Trophy.