Karnataka shock defending champions Kerala in Santosh Trophy

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Representational Image | AFP

Bhubaneswar: Karnataka shocked holders Kerala 1-0 while Odisha beat Goa 4-1 in the final round matches of the 76th National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy here on Sunday.

Karnataka dominated the match, pressing high and shifting flanks with ease as they put pressure on Kerala, who missed simple passes and made uncharacteristic errors in the midfield.

In the 20th minute, Karnataka made them pay for their slow start, with Abhishekh Shankar Powar slamming in from close range after some fine build-up play had set him free.

Karnataka never eased up the pressure following the goal. Midhun V was called into action thrice in the first half, making crucial saves to deny Karnataka any more goals.

"It was vital for us to win today," Karnataka coach Ravi Babu Raju said after the game.

"This is a tight group, and we know that it will be won and lost by a mere point or two. These three points separate us from the pack now."

If there were any lingering doubts about Odisha's competence, they were quickly laid to rest with the hosts running riot, defeating Goa 4-1.

Odisha opened the scoring in the 11th minute through Bikash Kumar Sahoo, and went 2-0 in the 28th minute. Just before half time, Goa's Mohammed Faheez converted a penalty to make it 1-2.

However, Odisha kept control of the ball and constantly harried Goa, scoring two more through Rahul Mukhi (79th) and Anand Oram (90+6) to ensure they cruised to an easy win.

In another match Punjab defeated Maharashtra 4-3.


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