Santosh Trophy: Kerala, Railways, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram advance

May 29th, 2009 - 1:16 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai, May 28 (IANS) Five times champions Kerala, along with Mizoram, the Indian Railways and hosts Tamil Nadu moved into the pre-quarterfinals of the 63rd National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy Thursday, after completing their respective league engagements with an unbeaten record.
Railways overcame Assam 1-0 with Amrinder Singh scoring the only goal of the Cluster 5 match at Tiruvallore and they will meet next the winners of tomorrow’s Cluster 6 league match between Manipur and Sikkim.

In the Cluster 1 match at Coimbatore, Kerala proved too strong for Chattisgarh to win 3-0 after leading 1-0 at the break as skipper NP Pradeep, KP Zubair and Sushant Matthew scored. Matthew, in fact, missed from the penalty spot, but compensated for the lapse with a late goal.

Kerala await the winners of the Maharashtra vs Meghalaya Cluster 2 match scheduled for tomorrow at the same venue.

Mizoram overcame Jammu-Kashmir 3-0 in a Cluster 3 match at Tiruchirapally for their second win while in another game in the same group Madhya Pradesh beat Pondicherry 4-0.

Lalmuanpuia (51st), Jeje Lalpekhlua (75th) and Lalrochama (88th) struck for Mizoram who will next meet the winners of the Cluster 4 clash between Goa and Orissa.

Hosts Tamil Nadu topped Cluster 8 as they hammered Tripura 7-0 at the JN Stadium in Chennai for their third success and advance to the knockout stage. PC Riju (2), Muthu (2), Pradeep (1) skipper Kulothungan (1) and Elamurugan (1) scored for Tamil Nadu who will clash with the winners of Cluster 7 match between Bihar and Haryana both of whom beat Gujarat, the only other team in their group.

Earlier, in an inconsequential Cluster 8 match, Rajasthan edged past Himachal Pradesh 3-2. Vikas Gupta, Shekaeer Ahmed and Sourav Das scored for Rajasthan while Himachal replied through Gaurav Kumar and Love Kishore.

The preliminary league matches involving 26 teams will conclude tomorrow. The pre-quarterfinals are scheduled for May 31 with the winners qualifying for the quarter-final league (June 2-7) where they will join last year’s semi-finalists Punjab, Services, Bengal and Karnataka.

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