The other matches of Group A on Friday will feature host state Odisha taking on Maharashtra, while eight-time champions Punjab battle it out against Karnataka at Odisha Football Academy.
The final round of the 76th National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy will begin on February 10, 2023 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Defending champions Kerala will play Goa in the opening match of Group A at Capital Football Arena at 9:00 AM IST. Meanwhile the other matches of Group A on Friday will feature host state Odisha taking on Maharashtra, while eight-time champions Punjab battle it out against Karnataka at Odisha Football Academy. Group B, beginning of the next day, features six teams as well- Delhi, West Bengal, Manipur, Railways, Services and Meghalaya.
പോരാട്ടത്തിന് കേരളം ഒരുങ്ങിക്കഴിഞ്ഞു… 💪🏻🏆
Hero National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy 2022-23 🏆#Kerala #SantoshTrophy #HeroNFC pic.twitter.com/XJAxXrkdBJ
— Kerala Football Association (@keralafa) February 6, 2023
The opening match of Group B will see 31-time champions West Bengal facing Delhi in the morning session of Saturday, before Manipur go up against Railways and Meghalaya play Services in the 3:00 PM IST fixtures. Matches are set to take place in three venues- Capital Football Arena, 7th battalion Ground and the Kalinga Stadium. The last round of group matches may be played simultaneously across the three stadiums depending upon the standings after the penultimate round of games. The top two teams from each group will progress to the knockout rounds(semi-final and final) to be held in Saudi Arabia.
Kerala finished at the summit of Group 2 in the qualification round to earn a spot in the final round of Hero National Football championship. Ramesh PB side won all of their five matches comfortably, scoring an impressive 24 goals, while conceding only two. Among the 36 teams that participated in the qualifiers, Kerala and West Bengal were the only two teams to win all their fixtures. Both these teams were involved in a nail-biting final last year, in Malappuram, which Kerala won on penalties.
Following are the Fixtures:
Group A: Kerala, Punjab, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha.
February 10: Goa vs Kerala; Maharashtra vs Odisha; Punjab vs Karnataka
February 12: Kerala vs Karnataka; Punjab vs Maharashtra; Goa vs Odisha
February 14: Karnataka vs Goa; Odisha vs Punjab; Kerala vs Maharashtra
February 17: Maharashtra vs Karnataka; Punjab vs Goa; Odisha vs Kerala
February 19: Karnataka vs Odisha; Goa vs Maharashtra; Kerala vs Punjab
Group B: West Bengal, Meghalaya, Delhi, Manipur, Services, Railways.
February 11: Delhi vs West Bengal; Manipur vs Railways; Meghalaya vs Services
February 13: West Bengal vs Services; Meghalaya vs Manipur; Delhi vs Railways
February 15: Services vs Delhi; Railways vs Meghalaya; West Bengal vs Manipur
February 18: Manipur vs Services; Railways vs West Bengal; Meghalaya vs Delhi
February 20: Services vs Railways; Delhi vs Manipur; West Bengal vs Meghalaya
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