Santosh Tropjy: Punjab pip Karnataka, revive semi-final hopes

Punjab bounced back from behind to pip Karnataka 2-1 reviving their semi-final hopes, while Goa hammered Odisha 6-1 in the National Football Championship for the 72nd Santosh Trophy on Monday.

Santosh Tropjy: Punjab pip Karnataka, revive semi-final hopes
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Kolkata: Punjab bounced back from behind to pip Karnataka 2-1 reviving their semi-final hopes, while Goa hammered Odisha 6-1 in the National Football Championship for the 72nd Santosh Trophy on Monday.

Having lost to Mizoram 1-2 in the last match, Punjab trailed 0-1 early in the seventh minute with S Rajesh's spot-kick. They, however, regrouped to score back-to-back goals via Jitender Singh (18th) and Baltej Singh (26th) for a comeback win at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium.

The win opened up Group B with both Karnataka and Punjab staying hopeful as far as their semis chances were concerned.  

Goa's big win took them to three points, however, their semis chances are slim. They have to win their final match against Punjab on March 28 and hope Mizoram beat Karnataka on the same day to qualify for the semis.

Leaders Mizoram have virtually sealed a last-four spot with nine points from three matches.

Victorino Fernandes struck a hat-trick (15th, 45+3rd, 54th), while Mackroy (58th), Shubert Pereira (71st) and Marcus Mascarenhas (86th) also found the target once each to lead Goal's goal glut against Odisha.

Sunil Sardar (16th) scored the solitary goal for Odisha, who signed off without a win from four matches.

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