Santosh Trophy 2024: Delhi miss penalty yet snatch a point from holders Karnataka

February 22, 2024
Karnataka began their National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy title defence with an eventful 1-1 draw against Delhi at the Golden Jubilee Stadium

Yupia (Arunachal Pradesh), Feb 22 (IANS) Karnataka began their National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy title defence with an eventful 1-1 draw against Delhi at the Golden Jubilee Stadium here on Thursday. Both goals came in the first half as P. Appu Arogya Swamy’s long-range stunner for Karnataka was cancelled out by Prabin Tigga’s own goal.

Delhi, however, fluffed a golden chance to win it in injury time when Sridarth Nongmeikapam’s penalty was well-saved by Christurajan T.

Karnataka started on the front foot and should have taken the lead as early as the seventh minute when Sathish Kumar blazed wide in front of a gaping goal from just six yards out.

Minutes later, Rashid C. K’s curling effort went wide, and Godwin Johnson’s rather harmless-looking shot slipped between Delhi goalkeeper Ashish Sibi’s gloves and trickled just wide of the post.

But both glove and post were out of the equation in the 23rd minute when Appu swung his right foot to perfection, curling the ball into the bottom corner from 25 yards out. Receiving the ball from Vishal R, the 25-year-old didn’t think twice, took two touches and whipped it in.

The joy, however, didn’t last long for Karnataka. Just three minutes later, Delhi skipper Jaideep Singh made a dangerous run into the box from the left before squaring the ball into the middle. Goalkeeper Christurajan missed it and it took an unfortunate touch off defender Prabin Tigga and rolled into the empty net.

Delhi started the second half as the brighter side. In the 58th minute, Sridarth Nongmeikapam volleyed a loose ball on target only for Nikhil G to make a terrific goal-line clearance.

The capital side started to see more possession in the Karnataka half but struggled to create any real openings. The holders started to pile more pressure towards the latter stages, keeping Sibi busy between the sticks. The Delhi custodian made a great double save to deny substitutes V Vignesh and Nikhil Raj.

There was to be a final twist in the tale as deep in added time, Delhi were awarded a penalty following Nikhil’s clumsy fall on Bhaaranyu Bansal. Sridarth, the youngest member of the Delhi squad, stepped up but saw his low right-footed shot saved by Christurajan and both sides had to settle for a point each.

Railways hold Manipur in the rain

In a rain-lashed afternoon kick-off, Manipur had to share the spoils after conceding a late equaliser by Railways. Phijam Sanathoi Meetei’s side-footed volley from Samson’s long ball set up a fabulous opening goal for Manipur in the 56th minute.

The 2002 champions would’ve put the game to bed had Ngangbam Pacha Singh not missed a penalty and Sanathoi not struck the bar. However, they were made to pay for their poor finishing as Railways equalised in the 96th minute, with Akash Babu tapping in the rebound after Rajesh S’s header came off the woodwork.

Maharashtra make a perfect start

Maharashtra ended the day as the only team to bag a win as they defeated Mizoram 3-1. Advait opened the scoring in the 26th minute as he let fly from the edge of the box after a couple of stepovers.

The lead was doubled in the 77th minute after Lalhmunmawia turned Himanshu Patil’s cross into his own net. Mizoram did pull one back when substitute M.C Malsawmzuala slotted in Lalthankima’s delivery, but Maharashtra were assured of the points deep in injury time as Dipak Prakash Patil scored into an empty net after an unselfish pass from Himanshu.



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