Wednesday, April 17

Santosh Trophy 2023-24: Railways Stuns Karnataka, Manipur Cruises into Quarterfinals

Santosh Trophy 2023-24: Railways Stuns Karnataka, Manipur Cruises into Quarterfinals

The Santosh Trophy 2023-24 served up a thrilling double-header on Thursday, with both matches witnessing unexpected results and a nail-biting finish.

In the first match, Railways pulled off a major upset by defeating the defending champion, Karnataka, 1-0 at the Golden Jubilee Stadium in Itanagar. The lone goal of the match came in the second half, courtesy of Subrata Murmu (53′). This win puts Karnataka’s qualification chances in jeopardy, leaving them with just two points from four matches.

Railways, on the other hand, strengthened their position in Group B with this victory. They currently sit comfortably with seven points from four matches and need just a draw in their final group-stage encounter against Mizoram to potentially secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

Despite a strong attacking start from Karnataka, including a near miss from Nikhil Raj Murugesh Kumar, they couldn’t find the back of the net. Railways’ goalkeeper, Anupam Sinha, made a crucial point-blank save to deny Karnataka an early lead.

Manipur heads to Santosh Trophy 2023-24 Quarterfinals

Manipur heads to Santosh Trophy 2023-24 Quarterfinals

The second match of the day saw Manipur book its place in the quarterfinals with a dominant 4-1 win against Mizoram. Philam Sanathoi Meetei emerged as the star of the show, scoring a brace (35′, 90′). Leimajam Sangkar Singh (8′) and substitute Pebam Renedy Singh (56′) further bolstered Manipur’s lead.

While Mizoram managed a consolation goal through Malsawmzuala Tlangte, it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat. This victory ensures Manipur’s place in the next round, and they now require just a draw against Delhi in their last group-stage match to secure the top spot in Group B.

Both these results highlight the unpredictable nature of the Santosh Trophy. While defending champions can be toppled, other teams rise to the occasion, showcasing the depth of talent and the competitive spirit of the tournament. With the group stages nearing their conclusion, the remaining matches promise to be filled with excitement as teams fight for a place in the coveted knockout stages.

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