Karnataka beat Maharastra, Goa hold Bengal in Santosh Trophy

June 6th, 2008 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, June 6 (IANS) Karnataka edged past Maharastra 1-0 in the first quarter-final league group B Santosh Trophy football championship at Bakshi Stadium here on Friday. In the second group B match, qualifiers Goa held last year’s runners-up Bengal to a goalless draw.

Karnataka skipper Xavier Vijaya Kumar scored the winner in the 61st minute to keep them in hunt for a semifinal berth.

A Rajendra Prasad free-kick hit the bar and ricocheted back to Xavier, who had no difficulty in beating goalkeeper Kunal Sawant, who had committed to stop Prasad’s scorching free-kick and was in no position to save the goal.

Maharashtra struggled from the outset and had an ordinary first half. Karnataka, who reached the quarters after three straight wins carried their form in the match. Their striker Nabeel gave Kunal a scare after he directed a cross towards the goal but Kunal managed to avert it.

Xavier found an opening but collapsed before taking a shot at the goal. Maharashtra had the first attempt at goalmouth when Aurangabad’s Rauf Khan sent in an aerial to unmarked striker Kailash Mahadev Patil. Patil messed up the opportunity.

Maharashtra showed some urgency in the second half but their morale was dented by Xavier’s goal. Karnataka had an opportunity to double their lead when Sanath Kumar broke the Maharashtra defence from left, but he delayed his shot which allowed defence to recover in time.

Substitute striker Soccor Velho made a desperate attempt to find a late equaliser but Karnataka’s goalkeeper Gumpe Rimpe was prepared for the late onslaught.

Meanwhile, Bengal and Goa played a drab draw in the second group B game. Bengal were in command in the first half with their striker Sankar Oraon getting a few close chances but failing to make them count.

Goa turned the heat on Bengal in the second half. Denzil Franco almost won it for Goa in the 72nd minute when he unleashed a fiery aerial ball on the third attempt after the ball lived dangerously inside Bengal goal area for a minute. However, to Franco’s dismay the ball went over the cross bar after kissing it.

Earlier, Drupesh Desai and Jaoquim Abranches had two attempts at the goal on the same move. Cresson Antao’s last-ditch attempt for Goa sailed over the bar again.

Services will take on Kerala and hosts Jammu and Kashmir will expect full crowd when they meet Punjab in the group A fixtures Saturday.

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