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Chandigarh rallied to beat Meghalaya 2-1 in a Group A league match of the 71st Santosh Trophy football tournament at Tilak Stadium here today. After Meghalaya's Kitboklang Pale had put his team ahead in the 51st minute, Chandigarh fought back to restore parity in the 64th minute. Captain Sehijpal Singh scored the winner in the injury to give Chandigarh full points. With today's win, Chandigarh opened their account with three points from two matches. Meghalaya are yet still to open their account from two matches. Meghalaya, who played with swift short passes, had the first chance to surge ahead in 10th minute when Enestar Malagiang relayed the ball to Kitboklang Pale who shot straight to keeper Harpritpal Singh. Punjab, who relied more on the long balls to break the rival defence, had the best chance to take the lead in the 19th minute when Arshdeep Singh sent a cross into the box for Akash Sangwan whose left footer was put out by rival keeper. After the change of ends, Meghalaya took the lead in the 51st minute when Fullmoon Mukhim relayed the ball to Andy Zakharay who laid a pass for Kitboklang Pale to send a low left footer at the back of the net. Punjab retaliated and equalised in the 64th minute.
A thrown-in from the right by Haarpeet Bedi into the box saw Jarmanjit Singh headed the ball to Gagandeep Singh who shot home from close. Two minutes later, substitute Abhishek Sharma was unlucky not to have put Chandigarh in the lead as his shot hit the post. Thereafter, Meghalaya did most of the attacking but Chandigarh scored the winner in the injury time through captain Sehijpal Singh whose stiff grounder beat Meghalaya keeper Kenio all ends up. In another match, West Bengal earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over defending champions Services to move atop Group A at Bambolim Sports Complex. Bengal scored the winner through Moirangthem Basanta Singh in the 22nd minute. He collected the ball on rebound from Services defender N Herojith Singh and unleashed a brilliant curler from an angle leaving the goalkeeper beaten all ends up. The match failed to reach any heights as midfield possession dominated proceedings and both teams hardly made any real forays into the opponents citadel. Services piled pressure on their opponents in the second half in search of an equaliser but to their dismay midfielder Arjun Tudu was given marching orders in the 73rd minute after a push on the opponent defender, earning him a second yellow card. Bengal had a brilliant chance to put the result beyond doubt in the 78th minute but Manvir Singh messed up a sitter with only the Services keeper to beat. Bengal's numerical advantage also disappeared in the 89th minute when Monotosh Chakladar was sent off for a double booking.
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