Mahip Adhikari's hat-trick gives Delhi victory in Santosh Trophy

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Tue, 27/12/2022
Mahip Adhikari's hat-trick gives Delhi victory in Santosh Trophy
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Delhi defeated Gujarat 4-0 to win Group 1 of the 76th National Senior Men's Football Championship for the Hero Santosh Trophy for the second time in a row thanks to Mahip Adhikari's spectacular hat-trick.

Mahip scored goals in the 59th, 81st, and 84th minutes of the game at the Ambedkar Stadium to complete his hat trick. In other games that day at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Karnataka defeated Ladakh, a newcomer, 3-2, and Uttarakhand defeated Tripura, 1-0.

Delhi's performance in games played at the Ambedkar Stadium got better every time. Mahip Adhikari, a substitute attacking midfielder, scored a fantastic hat-trick on Tuesday after sitting out the previous two games. Ajay Singh Rawat scored for Delhi in the 30th minute thanks to a pass from Jaideep. At the break, Delhi had a 1-0 advantage.

Mahip's substitution into the pitch shortly after the break proved to be advantageous for the home team. All three of Mahip's goals were assisted by passes from Jaideep, Raghav Chadha, and Ajay Singh Rawat. Most of the time, the hosts had the upper hand. Strong defending from the Delhi defence, led by the captain Neeraj Bhandari, Karandeep, Gaurav Rawat, and Sahil, denied Gujarat's forwards any opportunity.

With this triumph, Delhi improved to seven points—two victories and one draw—from three games, maintaining second place in Group 1. Karnataka, on the other hand, won their third straight game today to continue to lead with nine points after three victories. Uttarakhand has climbed to third place in the table after tasting victory today. With one victory, one tie, and one loss from three games, Uttarakhand has four points. Gujarat is currently in fourth place with three points after three games, one victory, and two losses. With just one point apiece from three games, Tripura and Ladakh are ranked fifth and sixth, respectively.

The opening game of the day, which was contested at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, required some effort on Karnataka's part to defeat Ladakh. Ladakh lost to Karnataka 3-2. Karnataka won thanks to goals from Abhishek Shankar Powar (27th minute), Jacob John Kattukaren (54th minute), and Robin Yadav (80th minute).

In the first half, Ladakh played the better team and surprised everyone by scoring first with Mohammad Ilyas' goal in the ninth minute. Thus, he held Karnataka at a 1-1 score until halftime. Karnataka, though, launched a flurry of attempts in the second half and briefly held a 3-1 lead. Ladakh's Stanzin Gillik scored the game-winning goal, 3-2, just before the referee's whistle.

In the third match of the day, Uttarakhand beat Tripura 1-0. This is the first victory of Uttarakhand. Substitute Sarthak Singh scored the only goal of the match in the 56th minute.