Story: the goan I network | 17th March 2017, 04:56 Hrs
A first half conversion by Francis Zountlunga helped defending champions Services edge past Chandigarh 1-0 in a Group A final round league match of the 71st National football championships for Santosh Trophy at Tilak Maidan, Vasco,on Thursday.
Services who controlled the match and had better exchanges scored in the 8th minute through a penalty by Francis Zountlunga which ultimately remained the winner. Services who lost their opening match against West Bengal opened their account with three points from today’s win. While Chandigarh after today’s defeat have three points from three matches.
Both the teams started positively. Chandigarh who had the first look at the rival goal saw captain Sehipal Singh half volley from inside the box was put out by keeper Vishnu VK.
The defending champions quickly settled into a rhythm and made inroads into the rival goal with repeated forays and Anoop Pauly tested keeper Harpritpal Singh with a shot from top of the box after intercepting defender Arshdeep Singh clearance.
The pressure was felt by Chandigarh as keeper Harprital Singh needlessly brought down Farhad VV inside the box when he came out to collect to intercept a pass and referee Pratik Mondal awarded penalty to Services in the 8th minute.
Francis Zountlunga who took the penalty made no mistake beating the keeper to his left. Services maintained the pressure on the rival citadel but keeper Harpritpal did well to bring off saves from Jain P and Mohammed Irshad.
Chandigarh who were seen defending their citadel for most part of the first half came close to restore parity in the 33rd minute when Jatinder Kumar shot off Amandeep Singh pass deflected rival defender and went out.
The second half was mostly confined to midfield, although Services controlled the proceedings and tried to make inroads into the rival defence but met stiff resistance against a disciplined defence who denied them from