Kerala beat Bengal on penalties to win seventh Santosh Trophy

Hosts Kerala bounced again from a objective right down to beat heavyweights Bengal 5-4 within the penalty shootout and win their seventh Santosh Trophy title on the Manjeri Payyanad Football Stadium in Malappuram, Kerala on Monday.

Playing in entrance of a packed dwelling crowd with an official attendance of 26,857, Kerala could not break via the Bengal defence and skilled goalkeeper Priyant Kumar Singh within the regulation time. The report 32-time champions, aiming to avenge their remaining defeat at dwelling in 2016-17, scored within the extra-time via a sensational diving header by Dilip Orawn (97th), brilliantly arrange by Supriya Pandit from the left.

But the Bengal defence spearheaded by skipper Monotosh Chakladar crumbled within the final 4 minutes of extra-time in what was an motion replay of Bengal’s objective. Just when the group turned hostile and began throwing bottles from the stands, it was Bibin Ajayan who scored the equaliser with a leaping header after being arrange by Noufal PN from the correct flank to power a penalty shootout.

Bengal kicked off the penalty shootout with Dilip Orawn’s strike however of their second try Sajal Bag shot vast which turned decisive in the long run. Bablu Ora, Tanmoy Ghosh and goalkeeper Priyant transformed their possibilities and within the remaining try they left the large activity for substitute goalkeeper Raja Burman to disclaim Kerala the successful penalty. Burman tried his finest however Faslurahman Methukayil sealed it, capturing the ball into the highest nook because the Bino George Chiramal-coached group clinched their first Santosh Trophy on dwelling soil since 1993 (Kochi).

It was a contrasting story of two halves with Bengal dominating the primary 45 minutes, whereas Kerala got here shut on a number of events after the changeover. A valiant show beneath the bar by their keeper Priyant Kumar Singh saved Bengal’s hopes alive of bringing the Trophy again dwelling. The finest save by Priyant got here within the thirty third minute when he parried away an outstanding strike by Viknesh M to carry on to the clear slate. Two minutes later, Priyant was once more within the thick of the motion, this time denying Sanju G.

Bengal’s prime ahead Molla had a forgettable outing and squandered a few possibilities within the first-half. The hosts pressed onerous within the second-half with event top-scorer Jijo Joseph and Vikensh making a wave of assaults however Bengal defence denied all their efforts because the goalless stalemate prevailed in regulation time.

Having overwhelmed Bengal 2-0 within the group stage, Kerala, thus, did a double on the Ranjan Bhattacharya-coached aspect.

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