Karnataka edge past Mizoram 1-0 at the Mohun Bagan ground to top Group B and set up a semifinal date with defending champions and hosts Bengal. In another clash, Goa thrashed Punjab 4-1.
Karnataka needed a win against the North Eastern state to book their place in the last four and they went into the game with an attacking intent. The team from the south were in control of the game from the very beginning.
The Karnataka attacking duo of Rajesh S and Leon Augustine constantly threatened the Mizo defence and created goal scoring chances. But Mizoram custodian Lalmihngliana made sure that the scoreboard remained intact after the first 45 minutes.
Karnataka did not lose grip on the match in the second half and continued to threaten the Mizoram defenders with a series of chances. Their approach finally yielded the much-needed goal in the 74th minute when Rajesh S slotted the ball home from Sukesh Leon’s corner.
It must be noted that Mizoram coach Lalsangzuala Hmar made as many as eight changes in their starting XI as they had already booked their place in the semifinal.
At Howrah Stadium, Goa routed Punjab 4-1 in a clash which became inconsequential after Karnataka’s win over Mizoram. Mackroy Peixoto, Victorino Fernandes, Nestor Dias and Shubert Perreira scored for the Goans. Gurtej scored a late consolation goal for the North Indian state.
Goa had to win this clash with a bigger margin before shifting their focus on the Karnataka vs Mizoram game.
In took Goa 25 minutes to score the first goal when Piexoto scored from the box after Shubert was brought down inside the box.
Within three minutes, captain Victorino Fernandes scored his fifth goal of the tournament and doubled his side’s lead from Nestor’s pass.
The second half witnessed Goa scoring two more goals to seal the fate of the match. Nestor scored in the 59th minute with a left-footed shot while Shubert scored the fourth one in the 69th minute from Peter Carvalho’s corner.
Gurtej Singh found the back of the net for Punjab in the dying moments after Kamaldeep failed to convert a spot kick.