Margao: Kerala outplayed Gujarat 3-0 in their opening Group A match of the Santosh Trophy qualifiers here on Wednesday.
Akbar Sidhique put Kerala ahead in the 11th minute. He doubled the lead in the 32nd minute.
Captain Nijo Gilbert made it 3-0 in the 35th minute.
The scoreline remained the same in the second half as Kerala missed plenty of chances.
Gujarat had beaten Jammu and Kashmir 2-1 in their first game.
Seven-time champions Kerala are placed in Group A along with hosts Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat.
Nine teams from six groups will progress to the final phase to be held in Arunachal Pradesh.
Defending champions Karnataka, runners-up Meghalaya and hosts Arunachal Pradesh will join the nine qualifiers in the final stage.