Former champion Services became the first team to qualify for the semifinals of the 76 th Santosh Trophy National Football Championship. The team booked its ticket to Riyadh, where the semifinals and final will be played, after crushing Manipur 3-0 in Bhubaneswar on Saturday with all the goals coming in the first 16 minutes.
Services leads the six-team Group ‘B’ with 10 points from four matches. The second qualifier will be finalised after the next set of matches on Monday and Meghalaya, Railways and Manipur all appear to be in with a chance to make the cut.
Meghalaya, which struck twice during added time, thrashed Delhi 5-1 while Railways defeated Bengal 1-0 in other Group ‘B’ matches on Saturday.
The results (Group B): Services 3 (Liton Shil 5, B. Sunil 14, Bikash Thapa 16) bt Manipur 0.
Meghalaya 5 (Donlad Diengdoh 17 & 57, Ronaldkydon Lyngdoh 39 & 90+7, Everbrightson Sana 90+4) bt Delhi 1 (Ajay Singh 90).
Railways 1 (Nuruddin 45+2) bt Bengal 0.