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 October 19, 2002 | 1930 IST

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Pritam Bahadur 'tricks' in Services' big win

Services, Karnataka and Gujarat prevailed over their opponents while Orissa and Delhi were engaged in a goalless draw in preliminary round league matches in the 58th National Football Championship, for the Santosh Trophy, in Imphal on Saturday.

Services rode on a hat-trick by Pritam Bahadur to blank Uttar Pradesh 5-0 in a cluster six encounter while Karnataka trounced Tripura 4-1 in cluster seven.

Gujarat, in another cluster seven match, sailed past Haryana 1-0 while Orissa held Delhi goalless in a cluster eight tie.

The matches between Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in cluster six and Nagaland and Andaman & Nicobar in cluster eight were, however, were not played as the Arunachal and Andaman teams failed to reach Imphal by the scheduled time.

The Services team almost ensured their big win over UP in the first half itself with Bahadur netting thrice in the 28th, 38th and 44th minutes.

The winners made it a one-sided affair in the second half and increased the scoreline through Bikas Gurung and Thiruna Vakarsu in the 52nd and 62nd minute respectively.

Karnataka, on the other hand, banked on late strikes to break the ice in the cluster seven tie against Tripura.

The winners surrendered their early lead through Dayananda in the 11th minute as Shambhu Shah of Tripura scored an equaliser in the 21st minute.

With the scoreline being 1-1 at the breather, Karnataka stepped up pressure on Tripura defence and picked up goals in quick succession in the last 15 minutes.

Jagadish Kumar gave the lead in the 75th minute while Sunil and Pradeep scored insurance goals in the 82nd and 89th minutes.

In the other cluster seven tie, Gujarat had to struggle hard before overcoming a spirited challenge from Haryana by a solitary goal through Mukesh Kumar in the 78th minute.

Both the teams are in cluster seven with Karnataka and Tripura.

The cluster eight match between Orissa and Delhi ended in a goalless draw with both the teams failing to utilise several gilt-edged chances.

Complete Coverage: Santosh Trophy 2002