Kerala would look to maneuver a step nearer to successful their seventh Santosh Trophy title once they sq. off towards four-time champions Karnataka within the first semi-final right here on Thursday.
Within the second semi-final on Friday, probably the most profitable group within the historical past of the Santosh Trophy, West Bengal will face Manipur on the identical venue.
Kerala progressed to the semi-final spherical of the event after ending as Group A toppers. They collected 10 factors from 4 video games and are the one unbeaten facet within the event.
The 2017-18 champions kicked off the event with a thumping 5-0 win over Rajasthan. Of their subsequent recreation, they handed the West Bengal check with flying colors earlier than taking part in out a 2-2 draw with Meghalaya. They edged previous Punjab 2-1 of their most up-to-date recreation to complete the group spherical as desk toppers.
Kerala captain Jijo Joseph is the event’s highest scorer up to now, and when requested about it, he stated, “Scoring isn’t important to me, I simply wish to win each recreation, and that’s what I’m concentrating on proper now.”Crucial factor for me is to win this recreation and get to the ultimate.”
“Karnataka is an efficient facet,” Kerala coach Bino George Chiramal Padinjarathala remarked when requested about their opponent.
“They have been excellent towards Gujarat of their most up-to-date match and are in glorious kind.”
“All the groups which have superior to the semifinals are good, and now it’s a do-or-die scenario for us,” he stated.
Karnataka, in the meantime, completed second in Group B with seven factors of their kitty. They gained towards Gujarat and Companies with their solely defeat coming by the hands of Manipur. They have been held to a 3-3 draw by Odisha of their first recreation.
“Kerala have house benefit however we are going to give our greatest within the recreation. Our group is motivated after our final win and we is not going to go away any stone unturned to win this one,” Karnataka boss Biby Thomas Muttath stated.
Manipur certified for the final 4 after successful Group B with 9 factors. They gained three of their 4 group stage video games, with their lone defeat coming towards Odisha. Of their most up-to-date recreation, they thrashed Karnataka 3-0.
Manipur coach Present Raikhan stated, “We’ve ready for West Bengal and can give it our all within the semi-finals.
“We respect the West Bengal group, however we’re ready. We’re hoping to place up a great combat on Friday and make it to the ultimate after so a few years,” Raikhan added.
West Bengal reached the semi-finals after ending second in Group A. West Bengal gained their group stage video games towards Punjab, Meghalaya and Rajasthan, with their solitary loss coming towards Kerala.
“We’ll attempt to attain the summit conflict as soon as extra,” West Bengal coach Ranjan Bhattacherjee said.
“I consider our match towards Manipur might be a tense affair since they’re a powerful group with some excellent gamers,” he stated.