Karnataka moved into the quarterfinals of the 67th Santosh Trophy from Group B after trouncing Bihar 3-0 in a decider at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium here. For the men in red, Rajesh S, V Stephen and T Amoes found the net in the first half.
Contrary to the feeling that a high voltage match was in the offing, it was Karnataka who supervised proceedings from the beginning. And in the 2nd minute, Karnataka took the lead. Rajesh scored his seventh goal in the tournament with a measured right footer from the left of the box that found its mark. And as usual he was fed by Stephen from centre. Karnataka’s forwards, who have amassed 17 goals before this match and their defenders, who have conceded only 2 goals in return, were up for the task. The deadly Stephen-Amoes-Rajesh combination ransacked Bihar frequently and Bihar was forced on to the defensive.
In the 13th minute Stephen showed his mettle and overcame two defenders before bamboozling the custodian to net one in. Nine minutes later, deadly winger Amoes contributed to the cause. This time it was the off side trap set by the Bihar defence that backfired.
Striker Vivek Kumar struck twice as Haryana did just enough to hold five-time winners Goa 2-2 and book quarterfinal berth at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi on Monday.
The underdogs came back from a goal down to lead 2-1 before settling for a point from the final Group D game, ensuring that they finished second behind Goa at the expense of Chhattisgarh.