Maharashtra ta face Services in Santosh Trophy final

Nagpur, March 11 (IANS) Hosts Maharashtra beat Tamil Nadu by a solitary goal in the semi-final to book a summit clash with defending champions Services in the 70th National Championship for the Santosh Trophy at the SEC Railway Stadium here on Friday.

After a barren first half, Tamil Nadu defender Prem Kumar deflected the ball into his own net as he tried to intercept a Shakti Singh cross from the right. Maharashtra were even reduced to 10-men in injury time of the second half but eventually it didn’t matter.

Playing with a young team whose average age was around 23, Maharashtra were the better team for most of the proceedings, even though Tamil Nadu also had their chances.

In the other semi-final on Friday, a dominant Services beat Goa 1-0 after extra time to book a spot in the final.

The match should have been settled long back had Services capitalised on their chances but perseverance eventually paid off in the 115th minute when in a desperate attempt to clear, Mohammed Ali kicked it into his own net.

The extra-time was enforced after both the teams were deadlocked after regulation time.

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