Santosh Trophy | Services beat Karnataka in shootout to set up summit clash against Punjab
Services defeated Karnataka in the second semi-final of the ongoing Santosh Trophy football competition in Ludhiana and will meet Punjab in the final on Sunday. After Lallawmkima and Nikhil Raj scored for Services and Karnataka respectively, the team from South India lost in the penalty shootout.
Services took an early lead in the game in the seventh minute as a cross from the right side of the pitch was well controlled by Lallawmkima inside the box. He did well to find the back of the net by placing the ball into the far right corner past the Karnataka custodian. However, Karnataka was the more attacking team in the entire passage of play in the first 45 minutes but was not able to find the equaliser.
Karnataka defender Ashik AS was sent off in the 70th minute after a rash tackle in the penalty area. Although Karnataka were down to ten men, fortunately for them, the resulting free-kick hit the wall and the second goal was denied for Services by Namgyal Bhutia.
In the 84th minute of the game, substitute Nikhil Raj scored the equaliser after running into the Services penalty area to bring Karnataka back in the game. With the scores level at 1-1, the match entered extra time but no goals were scored during that period.
Karnataka skipper Vignesh Gunashekar missed the first shot of the shootout while Services managed to score on all four occasions before Manoj Swamy Kannan sent Karnataka’s fifth kick wide off the post.
Services will now face Punjab, who had defeated Goa by 2-1 goals, in the final clash of this year’s Santosh Trophy on Sunday.