Kolkata, March 25: Former champions Mizoram all but sealed a semi-final berth with a 2-1 win over Punjab, while Karnataka too remained in the hunt after beating Odisha by an identical scoreline in the national football championship for the 72nd Santosh Trophy here on Saturday.
Mizoram, who won the title in the 2013-14 season in Siliguri, now have three wins from as many matches. They are on nine points to lead Group B, followed by Karnataka who have six points from two matches.
Lal Remruata scored back-to-back goals in the space of two minutes to give Mizoram the lead.
In the seventh minute, a shot by a Mizoram player hit the bar and the rebound was turned in by Remruata, who struck his second in a couple of minutes at the Sailen Manna Sports Complex in Howrah.
For Punjab, Jitender Rawat (56th minute) pulled one back in the second half.
Meanwhile, Odisha gave Karnataka a run for their money at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium.
Karnataka scored first through Leon Augustine in the 26th minute but Odisha restored parity during first-half injury time with Arjun Naik’s (45+2) strike.
After the change of ends, S. Rajesh scored the winner for Karnataka in the 87th minute.