Karnataka enter quarters

Karnataka enter quarters

Karnataka drubbed Bihar 3-0 to storm into the quarterfinal league of the 67th National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium here on Monday.

Rajesh S, Stephen and Amoes T netted one apiece as Karnataka notched up their fourth win in a row to top Cluster B with 12 points.

Bihar, who needed a win to qualify for the quarterfinal league, bowed out finishing second with nine points.

Three goals in the first 21 minutes of the match ensured a smooth passage for the Chethan Kumar-led side into the next phase.

Rajesh, who has been in prolific form, put Karnataka ahead in the second minute with his seventh goal of the tournament.

His strike partner Stephen too continued his fine goal-scoring run 10 minutes later. The South United forward has so far struck eight goals in the competition.

Amoes completed the tally in the 21st minute. Karnataka focused on protecting the lead in the second session, warding off Bihar’s attempt to reduce the margin.

Karnataka are placed in Group D of the quarterfinal league to be played here and are up against last year’s semifinalists Manipur, Punjab and either Bengal or Railways.  They face Bengal or Railways in their opening match on February 22.

The four-time champions take on Manipur on February 24 and clash with Punjab a couple of days later.

Only the group winners will make it to the semifinals.

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