Services Edge Mizoram in Santosh Trophy Semifinal Thriller

Services Edge Mizoram in Santosh Trophy Semifinal Thriller

In a thrilling semifinal clash of the 77th National Football Championships for the Santosh Trophy, Services held off a late surge from Mizoram to secure a narrow 2-1 victory.

Services, a six-time champion, dominated the proceedings from the outset, controlling possession and creating several scoring opportunities. In the 21st minute, left-back Subham Rana set up Rahul Ramakrishnan with a sharp cross, which the latter converted with a left-footed drive to give Services the lead.

After the break, Services continued to press forward and doubled their advantage in the 83rd minute. Substitute Bikash Thapa pounced on a back-pass that Mizoram goalkeeper F. Lalmuanawma failed to control and slotted home the insurance goal.

Mizoram, however, refused to go down without a fight. Substitute Malsawmfela, introduced in the 71st minute, caused problems for Services with his physical play. In injury time, Malsawmfela pulled one back for Mizoram with a free-kick, setting up a tense finish.

Despite losing defender Zothanpuia to a red card in the 88th minute, Services held on to their lead, with goalkeeper Shafeel P.P. making a crucial save in the dying seconds to deny Malsawmfela an equalizer.

The victory sends Services to their 12th final in the tournament's history, where they will face the winner of the other semifinal between Kerala and Punjab.

Tags: #SantoshTrophy, #Football, #NationalChampionship, #Mizoram, #Services

Read more