National games: Kerala beat Goa 7-5 in beach soccer final

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 Kerala’s supremacy in beach soccer remained unchallenged as they got the better of Goa 7-5 in the National Games final at Colva Beach here in Goa.

This was Kerala’s second title of the season, as earlier in the year they won the inaugural National Beach Soccer Championship in Surat.

However, it wasn’t like Kerala’s earlier matches when they virtually steamrolled all other opponents. Goa put up a good fight and had the ultimate champions on tenterhooks till the end.

Kerala, of course, were a superior side and scored through Musheer TKB (3), Rohith Y, Umarulumukthar KK, Muhammed Unais and Ali Akbar AP. For Goa, Pedro Antonio Gonsalves (2), Richard Cardoz (2), Carl Joshua Dsouza and Kashinath Subhash Rathod scored.

The bronze medal went to Lakshadweep, who beat Punjab 4-2. Mirsad (2), Mohammed Thahir, Mohsin scored for Lakshadweep. Karandeep Singh Manota, and Mohammad Thahir’s own goal reduced the margin for Punjab.

At Fatorda, Punjab defeated Services to go to the top of Group A in men’s football. Services, who earlier stunned hosts Goa, failed to cope up against Punjab attacks, who scored two second half goals through Jang Bahadur Singh 56 and Abhishek Rattu.

In the other match of Group A, Santosh Trophy champions Karnataka logged full points with a solitary goal win against hosts Goa. The only goal of the match was scored by Vishal R in the 35th minute.

Both Punjab and Karnataka have now four points from two matches in the four-team group. However, Punjab are currently on the top because of the better goal difference.

Haryana girls topped Group B with a resounding 4-0 win over Odisha. Neha (2), Rajni Bala and Santosh scored for Haryana, whose dominance in the match was never in question. Odisha, however, made the semi-finals as the second team from the group.

In an inconsequential match of Group B, Goa beat Chandigarh 3-1 with goals from Flani Costa, Karishma Purushottam and Remediana Socorina Noronha. Vedika Gulia reduced the margin for Chandigarh. In the semi-finals on Friday, Odisha will take on Bengal, while Odisha will play Manipur.

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