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 October 21, 2002 | 2030 IST

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Easy wins for Tripura,
Sikkim, Karnataka

Tripura, Sikkim and Karnataka posted convincing victories while Bihar and Punjab sailed past their opponents by narrow margins in preliminary round league matches in the 58th National Football Championship, for the Santosh Trophy, in Imphal on Monday.

Riding on a double strike by Ranjit Singh Baruah, Tripura blanked Gujarat 4-1 in a cluster seven encounter while Sikkim trounced Uttar Pradesh 3-0 in cluster six.

In another cluster seven match, Karnataka breezed past Haryana 2-0.

Punjab and Bihar managed to beat Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh respectively by a solitary goal in cluster three and five matches respectively.

The engagement between Nagaland and Delhi in cluster eight ended in a 1-1 draw.

Tripura, looking desperate to make up for its 1-4 defeat against Karnataka in last outing, went on the rampage right from the kick-off and got an early lead through Swapan Rai in the 10th minute.

Striving to win by a big margin, Tripura stepped up the attack in the second half. The tactics paid off as Sambhu Rai and Baruah found the target in the 48th and 53rd minutes.

Ranjit Sisotiya gave a life line to Gujarat in the 56th minute but his strike was soon followed by another goal by Baruah that made the final score 4-1.

The cluster six encounter between Sikkim and UP ended on expected lines with the latter showing no improvement upon its performance following the 0-5 defeat against Services in the last engagement.

Complete Coverage: Santosh Trophy 2002