Karnataka off to a thumping start

Karnataka off to a thumping start

Mohammad Naeemuddin’s treble spurred hosts Karnataka to a thumping 6-0 win over Puducherry in their opening match of the South Zone hockey championship at the KSHA stadium here on Sunday. 

Naeemuddin’s goals came in the 33rd, 63rd and 69th minutes of the match. Bijju BY (7th), Naveen Kumar M (18th) and Deepak Bijwad (62nd) struck the other three for the hosts.

Karnataka stamped their authority in the initial stages of the match. Bijju’s goal in the seventh minute put the home team ahead and there was no looking back after that. Naveen doubled the lead in the 18th minute, converting a short pass from captain Hari Prasad GM.

The Puducherry defence struggled to contain the rampaging Karnataka forwards. Hari Prasad, Naveen and Naeemuddin came up with some creative angles from both flanks, applying relentless pressure on the Puducherry defence.

In the 33rd minute, Naeemuddin struck the third goal off a Cheeyanna cross and Karnataka went into half-time comfortably placed.

After the break, Puducherry showed some fight as Dayalan came close to scoring in the 42nd minute but Karnataka custodian Jagdeep Dayal thwarted the attempt.

Results: Hyderabad: 5 (Arvind 2nd, 52nd, Vijay Kumar G 20th, 44th, 68th) bt Kerala: 0; Karnataka: 6 (Bijju BY 7th, Naveen Kumar M 18th, Md Naeemuddin 33rd, 63rd, 69th, Deepak Bijwad 62nd) bt Puducherry: 0; Tamil Nadu: 8 (Vinod Rayer 6th, 28th, Raja V 10th, 40th, Arul Stalin David 16th, Iayappan 32nd, Mudappa MK 55th, 63rd) bt Andhra: 2 (Phani Kumar 62nd, Theja Babu 69th).

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