Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Karnataka cruise to the pre-quarters

The state lads walloped Jharkhand 6-1 and entered into the pre-quarter finals of the 64th Santosh Trophy. Karnataka only needed a draw to qualify for the next round, the strikers played well in rotation, and scored in regular intervals.

Wily Xavier VijayKumar opened the account for Karnataka in the 31st minute. Jharkhand quickly restored parity via Ravindra Singh goal within 3 minutes. Veteran star R C Prakash again gave the lead in the added time in the first-half.

Karnataka totally dominated the game in the second-half and scored 4 goals. Central medio J Murali netted the third one in the very first minute of second-half. New recruit for Mohun Bagan, Satish Kumar Jr scored the fourth goal for his team in the 72nd minute. Talented MEG striker, N Hmar scored the final two goals in the 73rd and 88th minute.

Karnataka, after qualifying from Cluster I will play against Cluster II qualifier, Maharashtra in the knock-out pre-quarter round. Similarly, Cluster III qualifier will play against Cluster IV qualifier, Cluster V against Cluster VI, and Cluster VII against Cluster VIII.
The winners from the pre-quarter final will then play in the quarter-final round, which will be played with 4 seeded teams (semi-finalists from the previous edition – Goa, Bengal, Services, and Tamil Nadu) and 4 qualifiers in 2 groups.

Cluster II winner Maharashtra had an excellent run so far; 3 straight big-margin wins – 4-0 against Chandigarh and 4-1 against Andhra Pradesh and Tripura.

Talking to Garden City Soccer Stars, old war horse Xavier sounded confident, “We've beaten them in last two occasions, 2008 in Jammu and Kashmir and last year in Chennai. Will give the best and defeat them this time too!”

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