Chennai, Jun 4: Star-studded Goa were held to a goalless draw by a gritty Karnataka while last year's runners-up Services beat Maharashtra by a solitary goal in the Group B quarter-final matches of the 63rd National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy on Wednesday.
In a fast-paced match, the Goans had more of the scoring chances but their forwards failed to give the finishing touches. The Karnataka upfront also fell back to defend their citadel on a number of occasions to deny the Goans any goal.
The first 15 minutes of play belonged to Karnataka whose forward B Prakash missing the target by a whisker in the very first minute.
Captain Xavier Vijaykumar, though marked closely by Covan Lawrence, showed good athleticism and broke away into Goa box twice only to hit wide on both occasions.
Midway into the first half, the Goans got two set pieces just outside the box but failed to capitalise on them. First, Joaquim Abranches' powerful shot past the Karnataka wall was stopped by goalkeeper Gumpe Rime. Then an indirect shot from Abranches was yards away from the target.
The Goans pressed harder and almost scored in the 48th minute. Following a pass from the left, substitute Francis Fernandes dodged past two defenders and sent a powerful right footer and goalkeeper Rime spilled the ball from his hands.
As Marcus Mascarenhas was about to latch on to the ball, BV Pradeep intercepted the ball but Nicholas Rodrigues' shot was cleared by Prakash to safety.