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Kerala thrash Andhra Pradesh in Santosh Trophy South Zone Qualifiers

Kerala thrash Andhra Pradesh in Santosh Trophy South Zone Qualifiers

Md Imtiaz

Published: 19 Jan 2018 12:35 AM GMT
Kerala thumped a massive 7-0 victory over Andhra Pradesh in the Santosh Trophy South Zone qualifiers at the Kanteerva Stadium on Thursday. KP Rahul and VK Abdal scored a brace each as Kerala kick-started their Group B campaign on a high note. It was Sajith Poulose, who found the net for Kerala into the third minute of the game from M.S. Jithin's brilliant cross from the right. Ten minutes later, Afdal dribbled into penalty box down, and his pass was channelised into the goal by Rahul. Source: Twitter Kerala coach Satheevan Balan later picked out the performance of his U-21 players ' Rahul, M.S. Jithin, and Jestin George, the three who started ' as his highlight of the game. Rahul and Jithin were excellent on the left and right wings respectively. They were given the freedom of the pitch by a flat-footed Andhra Pradesh defence and the two youngsters ran riot. Andhra further contributed to its own misery in the 16th minute as Singampamlli Vinod struck an own goal while giving a back pass to goalkeeper Siriki Ganesh, At half-time Kerala put up a comfortable lead of 3-0. However, their vigour was rejuvenated in the second half. Rahul produced a curler in the fourth minute after the interval from Jithin's pass that found the net again. It was followed by a goal from centre-half Vibin Thomas in the 53rd minute, who struck a brilliant free-kick from a 30-yard distance. The contest was dead by that time as Kerala was leading 5-0. Kerala, however, did not stop as forward Afdal hit the last two nails in Andhra's coffin to make it 7-0 by the full time. In a press conference, Andhra Pradesh coach grieved over the lack of resources following the bifurcation of the state. 'A lot of stuff went with Hyderabad after the bifurcation. This is the third year since. Football is happening only in Visakhapatnam. And from all our districts, we have only one academy in Anantapur,' said Mohammed Zakeer Hussain. He added that his team started training late due to internal problems and their preparation was for only a couple of weeks. Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are placed in Group B of the South Zone Qualifiers with Tamil Nadu and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Kerala, on Monday, will face Tamil Nadu for a spot in the national round of the Santosh Trophy.
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