Kolkata, Mar 23 (PTI) Kerala demolished Manipur 6-0 while Maharashtra pipped Chandigarh 2-1 in the group A fixtures of the National Football Championship for the 72nd Santosh Trophy here today.

It was a goalless stalemate in the first-half at Howrah Stadium before a rampaging Kerala banged in half a dozen goals including a brace by Jithin Gopalan (62nd and 84th) and an own goal by Manipur’s Chingakham Singh in the 90+4th minute.

Afdal V K opened the floodgates with his 47th minute strike, while India’s U-17 World Cupper Rahul KP doubled the lead in the 59th minute before Gopalan and Jithin MS (71st) scored decisive goals.

Kerala now have 11 goals from two matches and are ahead of Bengal on goal difference as both teams have a couple of wins each.

In the other match of the day, Maharashtra dashed Chandigarh’s semi-final hopes at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium with goals from Shubham Khanvilkar (5th) and Dion Menezes (9th).

Chandigarh showed some urgency in the second half but could find the target only once when Vishal Sharma hit the back of the net from a rebound in the 88th minute but it was not enough as Maharashtra logged home full points.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.