Santosh Trophy: Services win, Goa held by Karnataka (Lead)

June 3rd, 2009 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, June 3 (IANS) Goa and Karnataka did everything but score while settling for a goalless draw in their Group B quarter-final league match of the 63rd National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy here Wednesday.
On a day when goals were at a premium, Services, thanks to a 12th minute penalty conversion by Laldingliana, edged past Maharashtra in another Group B game played earlier.

In a fast paced end-to-end game, both Goa and Karnataka drew pretty patterns, but goals eluded them with their forwards guilty of wasting scoring opportunities.

Goalkeepers skipper Fleix D’Souza (Goa) and Gumpe Rime (Karnataka) proved more than a foil for the forwards with some quality saves.

If Karnataka used the flanks well with Satish and Sanath Kumar grabbing attention, the Goans fared as well in their approach, but were eventually done in by a well-organised defence that was quick enough to close ranks when beaten.

The teams took turns to dominate and had their moments, but with chances being repeatedly created and blown, neither side looked capable of cashing in on the opportunities.

Of the two, Karnataka had the best of openings in the last minute of the regulation period when skipper Xavier Vijaykumar set up C. Prakash inside the small box, but the striker shot wide.

At the other end, Goa forced the pace and did breach the Karnataka defence with some pleasing approach work, and when in full flow, looked the better side. A few comedy of errors besides an alert Gimpe denied them success.

With one eye on the clock, the teams showed greater urgency in the last quarter and yet contrived to miss chances with unenviable prodigality.

Ultimately, both teams enjoyed slices of luck and perhaps, it was in fitness of things that they split two points.

Earlier, Maharashtra defender Anas Edathodika committed a blunder in the 12th minute when he fouled Services skipper Shaji D’Silva inside the box leading to a penalty that Laldingliana converted for the only goal of the match.

The incident apart, there was little by way of excitement with Maharashtra apparently groping in the dark and the Services looking good only in patches.

Both made several promising forays but with similar results as neither set of forwards came anywhere close to scoring.

Maharashtra had their chances on a few occasions, but Services goalkeeper Robikanta Singh was alert enough to nip the threat in the bud with timely interceptions.

At the other end, the Services, runners-up to Punjab last year, put together some threatening moves and looked good enough to add to their tally, but efficiency was hardly the watchword at the all-important end.

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