Kerala ensures quarter-final berth

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Kerala virtually ensured itself a quarter-final berth, holding Meghalaya to a 2-2 draw in the National Junior Football Championship.

Updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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Jaipur :

Riding on a brace by M Dileep, Kerala virtually ensured itself a quarterfinal berth holding Megalaya to a 2-2 draw in the National Junior Football Championship here today. In other matches, Karnataka beat Delhi by a Sendhil Kumar goal in cluster IV, while Pondicherry and Chandigarh were locked 1-1 in cluster I. Haryana got a walkover from Mizoram. Kerala had a tough match against the agile Meghalaya lads even though it shot into lead in the very first minute when Dileep scored with a powerful shot. Even as the tempo increased and play got rough, Meghalaya refused to be bogged down and equalised in the 21st minute through Perry who took advantage of a fine move which originated from the left flank. At half time, the teams were level at 1-1. Changing ends, Kerala surged ahead in the 54th minute when Rajiv, who was moving towards the goal, was brought down in the penalty box which resulted in a penalty. Dileep made no mistake from the spot for his second goal to give Kerala a 2-1 lead. Meghalaya kept on trying and their efforts paid dividends in the 77th minute when William Umwi scored a fine goal to knot the scores at 2-2. With this draw Kerala now has 7 points from three matches and has virtually assured itself a place in the last eight. The other teams in the cluster, Nagaland and Meghalaya have lost a match each while Haryana is almost out of the reckoning and Mizoram failed to turn up. (PTI)

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