Maharashtra [ Images ] entered the semi-finals of the 67th Santosh Trophy national football tournament, beating Tamil Nadu 2-1 in a group B quarter-final league match in Kollam on Tuesday.
They qualified for the semis by securing nine points after winning all the three matches in the quarter-final league. Maharashtra had beaten Jharkhand 4-1 and Goa [ Images ] 3-0 in their earlier matches.
Both goals were scored by M P Pradeep, a player from Kerala [ Images ].
After the first half went goalless, Pradeep scored for the winners in the 75th minute. Tamil Nadu replied in the 85th minute through A Raegan. Just three minutes later Pradeep scored again, which sealed the match in their favour.
Tamil Nadu's Nirmal Kumar was shown a red card for rough play in the 20th minute of the game after which the team played with only ten players.
In the second quarter-final, which was an inconsequential one, as both teams had been knocked out of the tournament, Jharkhand and Goa played out a 2-2 draw.
Goa's Agnel Colaco scored first in the 68th minute, and Jharkhand's reply came just three minutes later, through Ramesh Kujur. Joe Rodrigues scored for Goa in the 81st minute. Jharkhand's equaliser came in the injury time, in the 91st minute, through Bosen Murmu.
Hosts Kerala entered the semi-finals despite being held to a draw by Haryana in their Group C match in Kochi.
Kerala's R Kanan scored the first goal in the 58th minute. Haryana's Pankaj levelled the score for his team in the 90th minute.
Kerala have seven points. Haryana, which have four points, are out of the championship.
Within five minutes of play, Uttar Pradesh were given a lucky break when J&K defender Wasim Firoz scored an own goal.
However, J&K's Aiman Rashid equalised in the 40th minute.
The second goal for the state was scored by Rizwan Sheikh in the 57th minute.
Both J&K and UP, who have three points each, crashed out of the championship.