Prakash nets two as BEML land in semifinal

KSP edge closer to spot in last four with narrow win

 BEML’s RC Prakash (right) scores past BEL’s goalkeeper Suresh in the Puttaiah Memorial football tournament in Bangalore on Wednesday.  DH photo

The victory helped BEML to top Group B with nine points from three games.
Also in Group B, Karnataka State Police virtually assured themselves of a last-four spot with narrow 1-0 win over Indian Space Research Organisation at the Bangalore Football stadium.

KSP are on seven points from three games and need just a point from the last league encounter against BEML on Friday.

Their nearest rivals Sports Authority of India are on four points from three games and play BEL the same day. However, even if the Policemen lose on Friday they enjoy a goal difference of plus-8, leaving SAI with a Herculean task ahead.

Pitted against newcomers ISRO, the Policemen came out firing on all cylinders from the beginning applying enormous pressure on the opposition. They drew first blood in the 27th minute.

Girish dribbled from the right and sold the ball to Kiran Kumar on the left, who pulled it back before Karthik headed in from close range for the Super Division runners-up.
The Policemen missed a great chance to go 2-0 up three minutes from interval when Stephen, around six yards from goal, directed a superb Kiran pass to Sampath Kumar instead of targetting the goal.

On the back foot, ISRO suddenly sprung to life from the hour-mark and came close to equalising on nearly three occasions.

Lokesh’s attempt to get the ball past Venkatesh appeared to brush the KSP defender’s hand but appeals for penalty were turned down by referee Balasubramaniam.

Later, Sujith and Suman, after dribbling well into the box, shot straight at KSP custodian.
However, the Policemen quickly regrouped to regain control and etch a deserving victory.
Earlier, Prakash struck in the 33rd and 80th minutes while Hamza netted in the 78th for BEML as they ran out easy winners over BEL.

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