Dias’ blunder costs Maharashtra dear | sports | Hindustan Times
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Dias’ blunder costs Maharashtra dear

The kind of goals Steven Dias scores often reminds his ilk of the ones scored in European leagues.

sports Updated: Jun 04, 2009 00:23 IST
Abhishek Hore

The kind of goals Steven Dias scores often reminds his ilk of the ones scored in European leagues. But on Wednesday, the India winger, currently captaining Maharashtra in the 63rd National Championship for the Santosh Trophy, made a mess of a sitter that helped Services eke out a 1-0 win in their quarterfinal league match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Notwithstanding the miss, Dias wouldn't have felt that bad had Paresh Shivalkar's volley from inside the box off a Dias cross found the net.

K Laldingliana put the runners-up of the last edition in the lead, when he easily converted a spotkick in the 12th minute, after Anas Mohammed Kutty unnecessarily brought down Services skipper Shaji D' Silva inside the box.

Maharashtra went on the offensive from the word go and seemed to enjoy better possession, but Laldingliana's strike totally changed the complexion of the match.

It gave Services the cushion they badly needed to thwart Maharashtra from playing their free-flowing game, and then, the goal also had an affect on Kutty's game.

On the other hand, Services, who surprised by making it to the title-clash in the last edition at Srinagar, never looked back from thereon and often posed serious questions to the Maharashtra defenders.

As one of the most experienced players, Dias tried to be in the thick of things as much as possible, but the personnel upfront were often guilty of not utilising his crosses.

The skipper, however, might wonder what went wrong in the 66th minute. Dias was clear on goal with only Services goalkeeper Robikanta Singh to beat but instead of placing the ball in the gap, shot straight into the waiting hands of the goalkeeper, who deserved credit for his efforts.

Goa held by Karnataka
In the day's second match, star-studded Goa were held to a goalless draw by last year's semifinalists Karnataka.

Despite the presence of many India internationals and I-League players in their ranks, Goa could not dominate Karnataka the way they would have liked to.

Karnataka not only matched their famed opponents in every department, but also often created panic in the Goa citadel, led by the experienced Mahesh Gawli.

A goal was in the offing for Karnataka just before halftime, but they gained nothing due to confusion between M Dada Nabeel and Ricky Joy inside the Goa box.

Climax Lawrence, who has the habit of scoring at crucial junctures, got a few opportunities, but he could not convert those.