Maharashtra registered a fluent 3-0 win over Lakshadweep in the Santosh Trophy West Zone Qualifier 2019-20 Group A match played at Duler Stadium, here on Tuesday.
Yash Mhatre opened the scoring in the early first half, while Allan Dias and Shanon Pereira struck once each in the second session to secure a comfortable win for their team.
It was all Maharashtra from the start of the match where they came close to scoring in the 10th minute when Advait Shinde found Yash Mhatre with a lob ball as he brilliantly chested it down and shot it from the top of the box only to see his strike missed the target by a hairline distance.
However, in the next minute, Mhatre was on target for Maharashtra as a perfect freekick by Shinde was headed in by the forward which hit the inside of the crossbar before settling in the goal making it 1-0 for his team.
Maharashtra had an nice opportunity to double their lead at the half-hour mark as Allan Dias came up with a fine cross in the goalmouth but Dhurwesh Nijap diving efforts were not enough to push the ball into the empty net.
A few minutes before this, Maharashtra skipper Dane Pereira was seriously injured and was replaced by Shanon Pereira, whereas, the Island side also made one change before the halftime as Abul Hassan made way for Mohammed Faris.
Maharashtra took just eight minutes in the second session to double their lead as Nikhil Prabhu made a low cross from the right flank to Allan in the box who made a simple tap-in from the goalmouth to make it 2-0.
A few minutes later, they had a chance to further inflate their lead when Advait sent a beautiful through-pass to Mhatre in the box but Lakshadweep keeper Mohammed Salahudheen came off his line to thwart the forward in a one-on-one. A very next minute, Pragnesh Solanki nicely cut past a defender in the box and shot from close but his sparkling strike was excellently pushed for a corner by Lakhsadweep keeper Salahudheen.
After wasting a few opportunities, Maharashtra finally inflated their lead in the 82nd minute as Shinde set up substitute Shanon at the top of the box whose scorching grounder gave no chance to Lakshadweep keeper as Maharashtra confirmed their three points from the match.
In the other match, Daman & Diu secured a 2-0 win over Gujarat at the same venue. Sohail Khatri scored the opening goal in the 24th minute from the spot, whereas Brandon David headed home from close off Sohail’s cross to book all three points.