Bengaluru, January 18: Rahul KP and Afdal VK scored a brace apiece as Kerala thrashed Andhra Pradesh 7-0 in their Group B Santosh Trophy South Zone Qualifying Round match at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Thursday (January 18).
Coming into the game as the favourites, Kerala took no time in taking the lead. Jithin MS made a run on the right flank and provided for Sajith Poulose, who tucked it into the net in the third minute.
Ten minutes later, Afdal crossed from the right to Rahul for Kerala's second.
Andhra could hardly recover from the two goals and conceded the third in the 16th minute when Singampalli Vinod miscued a back pass and struck into his own net.
Kerala were relaxed the rest of the first half. But when they returned after the break, they attacked with vigour again. Four minutes into the second half, Rahul fired one into the top corner after a slick square-back from Jithin on the touchline.
Eight minutes into the last 45, Vibin Thomas powered a wonderful free-kick from the edge of the box past a hapless Andhra goalkeeper Siriki Ganesh.
Kerala showed no signs of slowing down. Afdal, who was kept quiet for a long time during the game, sneaked one past Siriki after being fed by Mohammed Shareef. The duo combined again 12 minutes later to complete the rout for Kerala.
Kerala, five-time winners and eight-time runners, face Tamil Nadu for a spot in the national round of the Santosh Trophy on Monday, January 22. Andhra play their last game against TN on Saturday, January 20.
Kerala (Sajith Poulouse 3, Rahul KP 13, 49, Singampalli Vinod 16 og, Vibin Thomas 53, Afdal 63, 75) bt Andhra Pradesh 0