Mizoram bowed out of the Santosh Trophy football tournament on Friday despite dominating the semifinal against Kerala. Substitute V K Afdal’s lone goal helped Kerala beat Mizoram 1-0 to set up the summit clash with West Bengal on Sunday.
The Mizo players dominated all departments of the game but poor finishing cost them the match. The first half was dominated by Mizoram. In the second half also they began from where they ended in the first half, always hunting in the opponent’s half.
Afdal broke the deadlock in the 54th minute. Kerala’s star player Jithin M S with a wonderful run down the sideline passed laterally and then after a miss by a forward, Afdal calmly sent the ball towards the target.
In another match defending champion West Bengal continued their sublime form and returned home with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Karnataka. Bengal skipper Jiten Murmu provided the initial break with Tirthankar Sarkar putting the final nail in the coffin in the dying minutes.
Five-time champion Kerala last met 32-time champion West Bengal in a Santosh Trophy final in 1994 at Cuttack.