Santosh Trophy | Odisha and Karnataka play out 3-3 draw
Odisha and Karnataka in action.|
In the last round of the 75th Santosh Trophy National Football Championship, Odisha and Karnataka played out a six-goal thriller in the opening game of Group B. Odisha took an early lead, but Karnataka responded with three goals to take a 3-1 lead in the game that went to the wire.
Odisha started the game on the back foot against Karnataka. Their high press earned them the lead in the 15th minute, when Chandra Muduli delivered a superb low cross for Jamir Oram to convert. Karnataka came close to equalising when Sudheer Kotikela missed a cross from Prashanth.
Sudheer made up for his previous error with an easy tap-in from an inch-perfect cross by Prashanth Kalinga at the half-hour mark, giving Karnataka the lead for the first time. Three minutes later, the game was turned on its head by the Southern state. Bavu Nishad took control high up in Odisha's half and fired a powerful shot that was deflected into the net.
Kamalesh's dribbles and crosses kept Odisha's defense busy. He even snatched the ball in the opponents' half, but his shot went wide. Odisha struggled to maintain control of the game after scoring their first goal, losing possession of the ball regularly in midfield. Karnataka had the upper hand at the end of the first half.
Odisha began the second period in the same way they had begun the first. A blue shirt glanced a long throw from Abhishek Rawat onto the crossbar. Arun Kumar of Karnataka then struck a tremendous free-kick that was saved by Sekhar Behara.
On the other end, Odisha had a chance with Chandra Muduli making another run but failing to connect with Raisen Tudu in a hazardous position. Karnataka made it 3-1 just after the hour mark when Sudheer scored his second goal after Behara failed to keep his thunderous shot out.