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Karnataka blitz Mizoram
Bangalore:Sept 26, 2012 DH News Service 22:37 IST
Mudappa strikes seven to help hosts post 21-0 win over minnows
Karnataka enjoyed a stroll in the crisp afternoon sunshine at the KSHA stadium, hammering a clueless Mizoram 21-0 in their second pool encounter of National hockey championship here on Wednesday.
Although not playing in top gear and missing a dozen opportunities, the hosts were just too good for Mizoram, burying the minnows under a mountain of goals and using the match as a fine warm-up game for the remaining two pool encounters where victory should be nothing more than a formality.
Medio MK Mudappa led the goal fest with seven strikes, striker Mohan Muthanna hammered in five, India forward SK Uthappa slotted in three, Somanna KM a brace while PL Thimmanna, MB Aiyappa and Nikin Thimmaiah joined the party with a goal each. While the first goal was an own goal conceded by Mizoram custodian K Laldintluanga.
Mizoram, who surprisingly made four forays into the Karnataka circle in the embarrassingly lop-sided contest, had their fate sealed as early as in the third minute when Laldintluanga conceded an own goal. Attempting to clear a cross from Aiyappa, he made a mess of the regulation clearance only to see the ball deflect off his pads into the goal as Karnataka opened their account.
Within a minute it became 2-0 when Uthappa prodded home from a goal-mouth melee after which it was just one-way traffic. Karnataka kept attacking at will while Mizoram, who showed some defensive grit early on when they kept the misfiring hosts at bay, just kept going through the motions in desperate search of some breathing space.
Although Karnataka overshot their pre-match target of 15 goals, concerns do exist for the last year’s losing finalists. Captain and India drag-flicker VR Raghunath once again endured a miserable day, missing all of his nine attempts. The player-of-the-tournament for joint champions Indian Oil Corporation in the just concluded Muruguppa Cup in Chennai, Raghunath kept firing the ball either high or wide and his goal-bound shots were tackled well by Laldintluanga.
A key cog in their plan to go all the way this time, Karnataka would seriously hope their star penalty-corner specialists finds his range in the remaining two pool matches before the bigger battles start at the turn of the week.