Mizoram dominated proceedings but still needed penalties to beat Goa 4-2 and enter the final of the Boys’ Under-21 football competition of the Khelo India Youth Games at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex here on Thursday.
They await the winners of the other semi-finals to be contested between Kerala and Punjab.
The Boys Under-17 final will be contested between Punjab and Karnataka while the U-17 Girls gold medal match will see Odisha take on Jharkhand.
Mizoram dominated the game, but were unable to break through the tight Goan defence. Ultimate after 90 minutes and four minutes injury time, penalties were used to break the deadlock and Mizoram went through 4-2.
In the morning, Odisha edged past Manipur 2-1 in the Girls Under-17 semi-finals while Jharkhand swamped Kerala 7-0.
In the Boys Under-17 section, Punjab dumped hosts Maharashtra 3-1 while Karnataka edged past Kerala 8-7 on penalties in the other semi-final after full-time had ended 1-1.
In a crowded day’s programme, Tamil Nadu beat Maharashtra 3-2 and Manipur got the better of Mizoram 3-0 in the Girls Under -21 category. So, Maharashtra will meet Mizoram for bronze while Tamil Nadu and Manipur will contest the final.
In the Girls Under-17, Deepa gave Odisha the lead in the fourth minute itself which was neutralized by Laishram soon after the break. Manipur were close to taking the issue into extra time and penalties but Odisha substitute Sarita broke their hearts with their second goal just one minute from the long whistle.
The Punjab-Maharashtra U-17 boys semi-final was a fast-paced affair. Playing robust football, Punjab replied to a first half goal with three of their own after the break to send out a warning to Karnataka ahead of the gold medal match.
Maharashtra led by a 36th-minute Vinay Kokndamuri goal but Punjab used the break to regroup and hit back. Led by the hardworking S. Lotiem and supported well at the back, Punjab kept pushing through the centre before switching the ball out to the flanks to claw their way back.
Lotiem it was who earned the equalizer in the 49th minute before Tarun put Punjab ahead off a header in the 62nd. Punjab shut out the match in the first of seven stoppage time minutes Mangminlun Singson slotting home in a goal-mouth melee.