Haryana blank Pondicherry in Santosh trophy
Gurgaon, Sep 14 (UNI) Haryana began their Santosh Trophy campaign with a facile 3-0 win over Pondicherry in a Cluster I league match of the 61st National Football Championship at the Chaudhary Devi Lal Sports Complex here today.
In a dull and one-sided match, Haryana outplayed Pondicherry in all departments of the game and led 2-0 at half time. The hosts, however, could have won 5-0 but for poor finishing by the forwards.
For the winners, Habib Khan (10th minute), Sunil Mishra (32nd) and Parveen Arora (54th) scored the goals.
Haryana took the lead through Habib when the unmarked midfielder latched on to a long pass from his own half and his feeble right-footer from the top of the box was enough to beat the diving Pondicherry goalkeeper.
The hosts increased the lead when Parveen's through pass found Sanjeev Yadav and the latter ran a few yards and gave a pass from the left side which beat the goalkeeper and an unmarked Sunil Mishra slotted the ball into an empty goal (2-0).
The third goal came in the 54th minute when substitute Pankaj Sura got the better of Pondicherry right back Balamurugan and sent a pass from near the goalline which beat the goalkeeper and Sanjeev Yadav only had to stretch out his leg to push the ball into an empty net (3-0).
Haryana will play Bihar, the other team in the cluster, on September 18 to decide who will go to the pre-quarterfinal knockout stage.
In today's match, the hosts toyed with the Pondicherry players and made repeated forays, almost at will, and could have won by bigger margin.
For Haryana, Parveen, Lurvinder Singh and Sanjeev combined well to put pressure on Pondicherry defence.
UNI PDS AY BS1844