Karnataka run into Meghalaya in opener

Hosts Bengal will aim at ending their 11-year title drought while defending champions Goa will look to defend their crown.

Bengal along with Goa and semifinalists Tamil Nadu and Services have been directly seeded into the last eight stage.

Thirty-two teams will participate in the Santosh Trophy with 28 unseeded teams divided into eight clusters where they will play round-robin league in each cluster.

This time, the premier tournament will lose a bit of sheen with 30 national team players training in Portugal for the Asian Cup to be held in Doha, Qatar from January 7-29 next year.
In the opening day’s fixtures, Karnataka will take on Meghalaya at Khardah in cluster one, while in cluster two, Maharashtra will fight Chandigarh (Howrah Stadium) and Tripura will lock horns with Andhra Pradesh (Barasat) to kick off the tournament.

The winners of each cluster will then battle it out in the knock-out pre-quarterfinal stage for a place in the quarterfinal league.

From quarterfinal league onwards, the tournament will be held on the artificial turf of the Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Salt Lake. The quarterfinal league will be held from July 29 to August 4 while the semifinals will be played on August 6.

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