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Mahindra in semi-finals
May 29, 2003 19:46 IST
Mumbai outfit Mahindra United edged past Salgaocar 2-1 to finish second and qualify for the semi-finals in the Under-19 National Football League on Thursday.
Mahindras finished second with seven points, behind Dempo (10), to fill the last semi-final slot after JCT, East Bengal and Dempo had made the grade earlier.
In another match of no consequence, Vasco beat Churchill Brothers 5-2.
After a rest day on Friday, Mahindras will meet JCT in the first semi-final, to be played on May 31, while East Bengal and Dempo will clash in the other semi-final on the same day.
The final is slated for June 2.
Both the teams played an attacking game at the Nehru stadium in Goa. Mahindra, who needed a victory to qualify for the semi-finals, took the lead in the 21st minute when Anil Pawar centered the ball to Agnelo Francis, who beat the off-side trap and uncorked a right-footer past Salgaocar 'keeper Gerald D'Mello.
Salgaocar, who needed only a draw to qualify, restored parity two minutes later. A Vindan free-kick from the right floated to Meleish D'Costa, who sent a goalmouth cross to Lector Caido, who tapped the ball in.
Mahindra's determination paid off as they scored again within 10 minutes. Neil Gaikwad floated the ball into the box for Pawar, who beat Meleish before despatching the ball into the net.
After the change of ends, Mahindras continued to enjoy upper hand and could have won by a bigger margin had their forwards not wasted at least three close scoring chances.