Santosh Trophy: Kerala march into pre-quarters

July 27th, 2010 - 12:56 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 26 (IANS) Kerala sped past Assam 5-2 to reach the round of last 16 in the 64th Santosh Trophy inter-state soccer competition here Monday.
The cluster VII game at the Salt Lake Stadium saw Kerala go ahead 2-1 at the breather before pumping in three more goals in the second session to finish first and set up a pre-quarters fight with Mizoram who scraped past Railways 1-0 in cluster VIII at the Howrah Stadium.

Kerala drew first blood in the 19th minute through O.K. Javed, before Assam equalised in the 22nd minute with Akum Ao finding the target. However, Kerala again snatched the lead just before the first half whistle as Justin Stephen slotted home.

In the second session, M.P. Sakeer (69th minute) and Bijesh Ben (81st minute) scored but Jelendra Brahma made the scoreline 4-2. However, K.P. Subair widened the gulf moments before the game ended.

Mizoram rode on a 33rd minute winner by Lalrinfela to sail through on the strength of scoring one more goal than Railways. Orissa blanked Bihar 3-0 in a cluster VIII tie as Sheikh Mustaqim scored twice and Mohammad Ehsan Khan chipped in with a solitary strike. Uttarakhand won 4-0 win over Himachal Pradesh in an inconsequential match.

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