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National Games Football LIVE: Kerala, West Bengal clash in men’s football final

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National Games Football LIVE: 36th National Games: Kerala and West Bengal clash in final of men’s football competition in…

National Games Football LIVE: 36th National Games: Kerala and West Bengal clash in the final of the men’s football competition of the 36th National Games. At the EKA Arena TransStadia here on Sunday night, Kerala comfortably defeated their southern counterparts Karnataka 2-0 in the first semi-final while West Bengal beat Services by a solitary goal in the second semi-final played under floodlights. Follow National Games Football live updates with InsideSport.IN

National Games Football LIVE: Biggest RIVALRY of domestic football hits National Games, Kerala set for men’s football final with Bengal, follow LIVE updates

Also read:- National Games Boxing: Lovlina, Jaismine and Hussamuddin confirm medals at National Games

National Games Football LIVE: Biggest RIVALRY of domestic football hits National Games, Kerala set for men’s football final with Bengal, follow LIVE updates

Coached by former India striker Biswajit Bhattacharya, West Bengal scored the match-winner through Surajit Handsa in the 20th minute, who finished off a blistering counter-attack down the left flank after the cross went in.

Led by veteran defender Suresh Meitei, who has I-League experience with Churchill Brothers and Roundglass Pubjab, Services missed a few chances as their livewire forward Shreyas VG also hit the crossbar from a well-taken half-volley.

Luck was not on Services’ side either as West Bengal goalkeeper Raja Burman twice came to their rescue in the second half, while on another occasion a defender headed away a rasping goal-line shot. To cap off their unlucky night, Services were also denied a goal after Liton Shil put the ball in but was flagged for offside.

National Games Football LIVE: Biggest RIVALRY of domestic football hits National Games, Kerala set for men’s football final with Bengal, follow LIVE updates

In the first game, Kerala struck in the second minute through forward Muhammed Ashiq, who played a nice through ball for right-back Jeritto J and then raced forward to receive the cross from the wing and dent the net.

Karnataka dominated proceedings in the first half with their assured possession and crisp short passing. Stringy midfielder and captain Edwin Rosario was the heartbeat of all their attacking moves, tormenting the Kerala defense with his nimble footwork.

On the other hand, Kerala were rather disjointed with their play and often lost possession in promising positions. However, Karnataka survived two calls for a penalty and on one occasion Nijo Gilbert tested Deepak with a direct free kick.

National Games Football LIVE: Biggest RIVALRY of domestic football hits National Games, Kerala set for men’s football final with Bengal, follow LIVE updates

Karnataka had their best chance to equalize when striker Sudhir Kotikela crashed a fierce shot onto the post in the 25th minute from close range.

In the 42nd minute, goalkeeper Deepak prevented Kerala from doubling their lead when he saved a stiff grounder from Viknesh M after the midfielder had run clear of the Karnataka defence.

Towards the end of the first half, injured goalscorer Ashiq was withdrawn and replaced by Muhammed Parokkotil.

National Games Football LIVE: Biggest RIVALRY of domestic football hits National Games, Kerala set for men’s football final with Bengal, follow LIVE updates

The white and blue winners started the second half on a bright note as the substitute added some pep to their attack. They were duly rewarded for their dominance with their second goal as midfielder Ajeesh P scored after Parokkotil had nicely set him up in the 54th minute.

Karnataka lost their rhythm in the second half and created only half a chance, while Kerala were able to hold their fort quite comfortably to book their place in the final.

National Games Football LIVE: Biggest RIVALRY of domestic football hits National Games, Kerala set for men’s football final with Bengal, follow LIVE updates

Follow National Games Football live updates with InsideSport.IN

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