The Odisha state senior men’s team opened their 71st Santosh Trophy – East Zone qualifiers campaign with a 5-1 win over Chhattisgarh 5-1 in Bokaro, Jharkhand.
Odisha opened the scoring in the 6th minute through a header from Sheikh Shahabaaz Alam, while Odisha doubled their lead in the 21st minute when Bijaya Ghallan scored. But Chhattisgarh were back in the game after Harkit Singh reduced the deficit in the 39th minute. But two minutes into first half stoppage time Sheikh Mustakim made it 3-1 for Odisha, which was also the half time score.
Odisha continued to have more of the game and it was again Sheikh Mustakim with his second goal in the 72nd minute to make it 4-1 and the final goal of the match came in the third minute of second half injury time when Rajak Nag scored.
With his 5-1 win over Chhattisgarh, Odisha go top of the group after Bengal had beaten Chhattisgarh 2-1. Odisha face Bengal in the final group game on Monday, January 2.