Raj Kishore heralds NTSN football with hat-trick for Jharkhand

Uttar Pradesh's Gaurav Rai is in pursuit of a fourth goal in the closing stages of the Group A match against Odisha on Saturday

Uttar Pradesh’s Gaurav Rai is in pursuit of a fourth goal in the closing stages of the Group A match against Odisha on Saturday

New Delhi, August 27: A hat-trick by Raj Kishore featured in Jharkhand’s big victory over Karnataka in its opening Group B league match of the inaugural National Talent Search and Nurture football championship, conducted by the School Sports Promotion Foundation today. His was the cornerstone around which Jharkhand built it comeback after being a goal down.

At the DPS Ghaziabad ground, Karnataka opened the scoring through Jayesh in the seventh minute and seemed to hold its own when Jharkhand’s Samir Kiro was shown the yellow card in the 15th minute. But it was Jharkhand all the way till the final whistle after it found the mark through Samir in the 24th minute. Shortly afterwards, Karnataka’s Abuzar received the yellow card.

Raj Kishore’s triple strike straddling the half-time break was only interrupted by a Koushik goal for Karnataka in the 51st minute to draw parity at 2-2. Samir add his second goal in the 81st minute to complete an important victory for Jharkhand.

In another match in the same group at DPS Ghaziabad, Rajasthan beat Chhattisgarh 6-0, riding on a brace each by Kinshuk Kotecha (33rd and 63rd minutes) and player-of-the-match Shreyansh Choudhary (59 and 89) as well as a goal each by Mrityunjay Singh (34) and Shaurya Singh (57).

At the Salwan Public School in Loni, Uttar Pradesh reaped the benefits of a 10-day training camp in Varanasi as it overwhelmed a gritty Odisha 8-0 in a Group A game. Comprising mainly from the remote district of Malkangiri, the team from Odisha held Uttar Pradesh at bay for a good part of 25 minutes but the floodgates opened after Bikash Punj struck the opening goal.

Bikash Punj scored a second time after the break, striker Gaurav Rai accounted for three goals (29th, 57th and 69th minutes) while Mohammed Saif (38th), Rajat Singh (43rd) and centre-half Samir Thapa (75th) scored a goal each.

At the Salwan Public School, Loni, a five-goal blitz by S Ashok helped Telangana defeat Maharashtra 8-0. Ashok scored in the opening minute and added goals in the 25th, 36th, 44th and 70th minutes while Furqaan (25), Mohammed Azam (45) and Zail-ul Abedin (87) completed the tally.

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