Saturday, February 24, 2024

Karnataka rally back to hold Mizoram 2-2 in Santosh Trophy

AIFF Media 

Defending champions Karnataka came from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Mizoram in Group B of the 77th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy Final Round at the Golden Jubilee Stadium in Yupia, Arunachal Pradesh today morning. 

What looked Mizoram running away with full three points after goals from MS Dawngliana and MC Malsawmzuala but Karnataka showed the champion spirit to score twice in quick succession in the second half through Prabin Tigga and Vishal R to rescue a point. 

Today’s draw was Karnataka's second consecutive draw after a 1-1 result against Delhi on Thursday. 

Mizoram took the lead after a sensational move between Malsawmzuala and Dawngliana. With a superb behind-the-back flick, the former picked out the latter, who lashed a parabolic shot into the goal with a cleanly-hit half-volley. 

Mizoram were off the blocks quicker again in the second half and doubled their lead after another brilliant build-up. Winger Lalthankima got the better of Tigga with some exquisite footwork before cutting it in from the by-line. Arriving at the end of the cross was Malsawmzuala, who drove it into the bottom corner with a first-time shot.

But Karnataka were not done and dusted. Ravi Babu's side struck twice in two minutes to turn the game on its head. In the 67th minute, Nikhil Raj's cross from a free-kick slipped through the gloves of F Lalmuanawma and Tigga was on hand at the back post to bundle it in. Then, Sathish Kumar set up Vishal R with a great through ball into the final third. The latter took his time and slotted it in, wrongfooting Lalmuanawma.

Karnataka will be playing their third group game against Manipur on Monday, Feb 26.

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