The neighboring states of the Santosh Trophy South Zone qualifier match had a one-sided affair throughout the 90 minutes and even injury time. Kerala scored two goals in added time.
The 24th minute of P. V. Vishnu in Kerala opened the scoring. Midfielder Jijo Joseph evaded three Tamil Nadu defenders passing the ball to Vishnu, who finished calmly. Jithin M. S. doubled Kerala’s lead in a fine solo effort after the 33rd minute. Leone Augustine failed to score in the 42nd minute but Jithin made it 3-0 in the 45th minute.
Photo: P. Pramod Kumar
Kerala took their foot off the accelerator but continued to dominate Tamil Nadu. In the 83rd minute, substitute Mousoof Naizan’s bullet shot from outside the box added to Tamil Nadu’s misery. The score was 4-0 and Tamil Nadu had given up by then.
After 90 minutes, the referee added four minutes for injuries and substitutions. In added time of the second minute, Jijo Joseph scored his second and Kerala’s fifth. Two minutes later, another substitute Emil Benny completed the routed scoring sixth goal. The forward showed some good dribbling skills to get his name on the scoresheet.
With the result, the group qualified from Kerala qualified as a champions with and without conceding. Earlier, Kerala had a dismantled Andhra Pradesh 5-0. Meanwhile, Karnataka qualified from Group B. Kerala to qualify for the final roundsof the championship after a year’s absence. They had to make it to the final round last time around.