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Goa, Tamil Nadu register important victories

Imphal: Goa and Tamil Nadu knocked Punjab and Orissa, respectively, out of the 58th Santosh Trophy.

On Monday, the fourth day of the quarter final league stage, both teams won with identical 2-1 margins at Khuman Lampak.

In their match against Punjab, Goa fought down a one-goal deficit after Punjab striker Sher Singh found the mark off midfielder Jaswant Singh in the 16th minute.

Stung by the early reverse, Goa upped tempo and slotted in the equaliser through Covan Lawrence, the Man of the Match in the 42nd minute. Two minutes later, Alvito D’Cunha fired home a powerful shot after a solo performance to complete the tally.

Despite their best efforts, Punjab could not find chinks in the Goa defence despite the Goans having been reduced to ten men following the 67th minute send-off of D’Cunha for shouting at the referee.

The Goan custodian Kalyan Chaubey was particularly remarkable, saving some full-blooded shots.

In the other match, Orissa took the lead in the 19th minute through Saroj Kanta Pattnaik. But their joy was short-lived as Tamil Nadu striker P. Muthu slammed in two goals within five minutes.

The first came off a K. Kulothungan pass and within a couple of minutes, Muthu converted a penalty shot.

Goa, runners-up in the last edition, will on Wednesday take on Karnataka, who defeated Punjab 2-0 in group C, while on the same day, Tamil Nadu will clash with Manipur, who demolished Orissa 4-1 in group D.

Group B presents a mixed picture with Maharashtra having held Services 1-1 and defeated Railways 2-0. Services will have to maintain a better goal margin for the semi-final berth. A draw will put Maharashtra on the top of the chart.

Bengal wait

On Tuesday, Assam meet defending champions Kerala. If Kerala win, Bengal will crash out of the tournament. In the day’s second match, Services will meet last year’s semi-finalists Railways, who were already out of the tournament.

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