Nagpur: Recording their third straight win in the league encounter, where their goalkeeper was shown a red card, Maharashtra defeated Mizoram 1-0 and qualified for semi-finals in the 70th edition of Senior National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy in Nagpur on Friday.
In the other match, defending champions Services defeated Indian Railways 2-1.
Maharashtra goalkeeper Owasis Khan was shown a red card for serious infringement and was replaced by Kishan Sugegai just before the lemon time.
They scored the all-important goal through their star performer Mohammad Shabaz Pathan in the 66th minute off a superb pass from Aaron D'costa after the goalless first half.
Mizoram displayed some methodical soccer in the second half and dominated the play but were not able to score goal.
Maharashtra came close to scoring a second goal in the 81st minute when Pathan, D'costa and Shrikant Vermaallu struck a good combination and entered the rival's box. However, Pathan's shot went in to the waiting hands of Mizoram goalkeeper M S Dwngliana.
For Services, Vipin TV netted the first goal in the 14th minute. Railways' Jagtaar Singh restored the parity in the 51 minute. However, Services soon hit back and Vivek Kumar scored the match winner in the 67th minute. Tomorrow, Tamil Nadu will take on Goa, while Assam clash with Punjab.
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