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Thiruvananthapuram overcomes Kollam

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, OCT. 4. Thiruvananthapuram overcame Kollam 2-1 and entered the semifinals of the 32nd State junior football championship at the University stadium here on Tuesday. The host came back strongly after being a goal down to beat Kollam. P.Roy (35th) and C.J.Renil (44th) scored for Thiruvananthapuram while M.P.Sagar scored for Kollam in the 15th minute.

Kollam paid the price for its passive approach after taking the lead. The side became too defensive and allowed Thiruvananthapuram to grab the initiative. Though Thiruvananthapuram had the better of exchanges, poor finishing by its strikers kept Kollam's lead intact. But Thiruvananthapuram finally scored the goal it deserved when P.Roy's volley from 20 yards caught the advanced Kollam goalkeeper napping. The ball eluded his desperate jump and settled into the far corner of the net. Thiruvananthapuram kept the momentum going in the second half. Renil scored off a goalmouth melee in the 44th minute to consolidate the lead. Thereafter it was a tale of missed opportunities for Thiruvananthapuram which missed at least four gilt-edged chances for scoring.

Earlier, Alappuzha blanked Palakkad 3-0 to enter the quarterfinals. K.R.Abhishek (19th), Mestin Thomas (27th) and Sanu Salim (72nd) scored for Alappuzha. Kottayam edged out Ernakulam 5-4 via tie-breaker to enter the quarterfinals. The teams were locked 1-1 at end of regular time. Saju put Kottayam ahead in the 52nd minute while Bijin equalised for Ernakulam in the 65th minute thus pushing the issue into tie-breaker.

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