Himachal, Mizoram, Karnataka win in Santosh Trophy
Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Karnataka registered victories while Delhi and Haryana were held to goalless draws by their opponents in the 62nd J&K Bank National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy in Srinagar on Monday.
Himachal Pradesh opened their account in the championship with a 4-2 victory over Daman and Diu in the first match of the day played at the multipurpose Bakshi stadium in Srinagar.
Himachal Pradesh dominated the first half and led 3-0 at the breather only to allow their opponents come back into the match in the second session by conceding two goals.
However, Himachal forwards carried out repeated attacks on the rival goal and met with success in the dying minutes of the match to walk away with full points.
Mizoram overcame stiff resistance from Chhattisgarh and scored a facile 2-1 win. Mizoram played attacking football from the beginning but had to wait till the 35th minute to open account.
They doubled their lead just after the changeover but Chhattisgarh reduced the margin later on.
In the second match of the day in Bakshi stadium, Delhi were held to a goalless draw by Gujarat. Delhi were the better team but their forwards failed to score from a couple of chances.
Karnataka captain Xavier Vijaykumar scored a brace (11th and 86th minute) to give his side 2-1 victory over Jharkhand at polo ground here.
Karnataka should have won by a 2-0 victory margin had not their defender Jai Kumar made a blunder in the 77th minute.
He rightly tackled the onrushing Monirul Mondal of Jharkhand and headed towards the goalkeeper Gumpe Rime who missed it and the ball went into the net (2-1).
The last match of the day between Haryana and Madhya Pradesh ended in a goalless draw as both sides played unexciting football throughout the 90-minute encounter prompting a small number of spectators leave the venue half way into the match.
Haryana should have surged ahead in the 20th minute had not Sukhwinder Singh in Madhya Pradesh goal been alert. A powerful shot towards the goal by Jatinder of Haryana was fisted away by Sukhwinder, resulting in a corner from which Sanjeev could not tap the ball in from a handshaking distance.
Habib Khan of Haryana sent several passes towards the goalmouth of Madhya Pradesh but either there were no forwards to collect the ball or they shot wide off the target.