Malappuram (Kerala) [India], April 21 (ANI): Karnataka caused another major upset as they pipped defending champions Services 1-0 in a Group B clash of the 75th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy at the Manjeri Payyanad Stadium in Malappuram on Thursday.
The winner was scored in the first half by Ankith P and the result meant Karnataka got their revenge on Services after the defending champions had gotten the better of the side from South India in the semifinals of the previous iteration of the tournament in 2019.
Services, who have now lost twice, have a mountain to climb if they are to make the last four.
Both coaches revealed that they wanted their team to attack from the word go. And that seemed evident as it was a see-saw battle in the first half.
Against the run of play, Bavu Nishad TP put in a delightful cross from the right which was met by a fine header from Ankith P. He had a lot to do from a difficult angle but his header looped over the keeper to hand Karnataka the lead going into the break.
Services coach Priya Darshan must have had some stern words to tell his players and they started the better of the two.
But Karnataka players held strongly for a famous victory. The result meant Group B remains in the balance. Karnataka, with two wins under their belt, will face Manipur next in their bid to qualify for the semifinals. Services will be hoping to make amends and get their campaign back on track in their next encounter against Odisha on Monday. (ANI)