Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


Santosh Trophy 2018: Kerala clinch 6th title via a penalty shoot-out after a mouth-watering contest

Santosh Trophy 2018: Kerala clinch 6th title via a penalty shoot-out after a mouth-watering contest

Sounak Mullick

Published: 1 April 2018 5:12 PM GMT
Kerala edged past West Bengal in the penalty shootouts to win the final of the 72nd Santosh Trophy at the majestic Salt Lake stadium and script their 6th title and the first after 13 years. After 120 minutes of football yielded no results with 2 goals per side, spot kicks came to the rescue! Nonetheless, it was a riveting contest which was closely fought by the two of the best teams in the country. Both the teams started on even terms in the opening 15 minutes of the Santosh Trophy final with West Bengal enjoying the lion's share of the ball possession. A magical through from Seesan in the 19th minute found Jithin M.S's foot. The star midfielder made a long run down the sidelines and finally placed it under the keeper's leg into the target. Following the goal, West Bengal went on the attack, created several chances but failed to convert.
Also read: Kerala thrash Andhra Pradesh in Santosh Trophy South Zone Qualifiers
In the closing stages of the match, both the teams got easy chances, but the scores remained the same. Monotosh Chaklader got a free header at goal, but it went straight to hands of Kerala's goalkeeper. In the added time, Afdal VK had the chance to seal the deal for Kerala, but he misses a sitter! West Bengal was desperate to get the equaliser early in the second half and showed great intent, but their finishing was not up to the mark. Youngster Bidyasagar Singh tried to penetrate through the defence, but Kerala's backline stood strong. Kerala's Afdal VK missed another sitter close to the hour mark. Finally, West Bengal restored parity in the 68th-minute virtue of a strike from skipper Jiten Murmu. Super-sub Rajon Barman's cross fell in right in front of Murmu's feet and he made no mistake to secure the all-important goal. Meanwhile, Kerala got a couple of opportunities on the other side, but errors committed at crucial times cost them dearly. Had they played more carefully, the match would have been over much before. After the regulated 90 minutes, the teams played an additional 30 minutes to break the deadlock! The first half of the extra time was a closely contested one, with none of the teams scoring a goal. The second half of the extra time got as dramatic as it could be, Kerala scored a few minutes before the 120th minute and everyone thought that the match was over. But you can never say till the fat lady sings! Tirthankar Sarkar took an excellent free-kick during the stoppage time of the extra time to force the match to a tie-breaker. West Bengal's first two kicks were saved by Midhun V and eventually, the South Indian team won by 4-2 in the shootouts to win the tie!
Next Story