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, yesterday. Having lost to Mizoram 1-2 in the last match, Punjab trailed 0-1 early in the seventh minute with Rajesh’s spot kick as they regrouped to score back-to-back goals via Jitender Singh (18th) and Baltej Singh (26th) for a thrilling win at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium.
The win opened up Group-B as Karnataka and Punjab, who are one six points each, have chances to make it to semi-finals. Goa’s big win took them to three points and they also have slim chances for the semi-final.
They have to win their final match against Punjab on Mar.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 Goa’s goal glut against Odisha.
Sunil Sardar (16th) scores the solitary goal for Odisha who signed off without a win from four matches.
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