Wednesday , May 29 2024

West Bengal seal U-20 National Football Championship quarterfinal berth!

West Bengal became the first team to book their spot in the Swami Vivekananda U-20 Men’s National Football Championship quarterfinals as they beat Uttarakhand 3-0 at the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Ground in Narainpur on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

Ahead of the last matchday in Group E, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu were the other two sides vying for a last-eight berth. However, the latter could only earn a last-gasp draw against already-eliminated Punjab to bow out of the first-ever U-20 Men’s NFC.

West Bengal 3-0 Uttarakhand
(Santanu Naskar 3′, Rahul Naskar 60′, Shibam Munda 69′)

West Bengal took an early lead in the must-win clash after Santanu Naskar scored in the third minute. Rahul Naskar and Shibam Munda added a second and a third in the 60th and 69th minute, respectively. The former is West Bengal’s top scorer in the tournament so far with three goals. While the winners finished atop Group E with seven points, Uttarakhand ended their campaign in third place with a solitary win over Punjab on the opening day to their name.

West Bengal will face the winner of Group C in the first quarter-final on April 19 at 07:30 IST.

Punjab 2-2 Tamil Nadu
(P: Krishna 13′, Harpreet Singh 25′; TN: Jayasurya S 35′, Rakshith D 90+7′)

Punjab, who were out of the running for the knockout stage after back-to-back losses to Uttarakhand and West Bengal, took a surprise lead through Krishna’s goal in the 13th minute. They doubled their advantage in the 25th minute as Harpreet Singh latched on to Arshdeep Singh’s through ball and rifled a solid strike from right outside the box.

Tamil Nadu halved the deficit in the 35th minute, with Jayasurya S drilling the ball into the bottom corner from 25 yards out. They then made it 2-2 in the 97th minute as Rakshith D equalised with a looping header from a corner. However, the point did no good to Tamil Nadu as they ended up in second place with five points. Punjab finished bottom of the table with the one point.

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