BENGALURU: Harish Mutagar continued with his golden run in the Khelo India University Games on Sunday. The 23-year-old struck two goals to power Bengaluru City University to their second consecutive title. In the final played at the KSHA stadium, the defending champions blanked Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar 3-0.
Guru Nanak lads started off on an attacking note and kept the Bengaluru strikers at bay for the better part of the first two quarters. They enjoyed better ball position as well, but the Bengaluru unit was solid in defence which ensured Guru Nanak’s efforts on goal were nullified.
Mutagar put his team ahead in the 28th minute when he deflected Pranav Gowda’s push off a penalty corner. This was the breakthrough the Bengaluru team was waiting for. After the half-time break, the holders switched gears to take control of the match and pushed to double their lead. Bengaluru maintained their lead and went into the final quarter with the lone-goal advantage.
Vasanth Kumar doubled the lead in the 51st minute when he sounded the boards off a sideline pass from Sridhar. Guru Nanak went on the attack in the closing stages and even removed goalkeeper Harmanpreet Singh. The move backfired in the dying moments of the game as Mutagar latched on to a top D pass from Vasanth to round off the tally for the champions.
The 23-year-old star striker, who matched his tournament goal tally — nine — with his jersey number, later said, “As a team we are elated to have defended the title. This means a lot to us as we hope for a brighter future.”
Winning captain Punith R pointed out that the win was special because they didn’t get much time to play as a team in the run-up to the competition.
“I’m happy that we were able to retain the title because prior to the event most of us were playing other tournaments and didn’t get much practice together. But in the 4-5 days that we trained together we were able to put plans and strategies together which we executed well throughout the competition.”

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By Dipak

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