Kerala storm into Santosh Trophy last eight

Kolkata: Kerala cruised into the pre-quarterfinals of the 64th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy with a 5-2 thrashing of Assam at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan at Salt lake.

In the encounter of cluster VII, Kerala took a 19th minute lead through Javed OK, but Assam made a spirited comeback three minutes later with a goal by Akkum Ao.

Three minutes before the half-time, Justin Stephen brought Kerala back into the game and thereafter three more goals were scored in regular intervals to make it to the last 16.

Sakeeer MP (69th), Bijesh Ben (81st) and Jubair KP (90+3rd) scored the last three goals for Kerala, while Assam pulled one back through Jilendra Brahma in the 86th minute.

In a cluster VIII match, Mizoram pipped Railways 1-0 through a Lalrinfela goal in the 33rd minute in the match at Howrah Stadium.

Orissa registered a 3-0 win over Bihar in another match of the same cluster.

Following a goalless first-half, Mohammad Ehsan Sheikh gave Orissa the lead in the 63rd minute and then Mushtaqim struck a brace in the 77th and 89th minutes to sign off their campaign.

In an inconsequential cluster VII match, Uttarakhand blanked Himachal Pradesh 4-0.

Veer Singh Negi (16th), Manish Khatri (41st), Lakhwinder Singh (57th) and Nikunj Aswal (66th) struck in Uttarakhand`s win.