Riyadh: Karnataka beat Meghalaya 3-2 at thr King Fahd International Stadium, Saudi Arabia to become the Champion of 76th Santosh Trophy.
There were grounds for thinking this. Sunil Kumar’s angled volley from the right was deflected off a defender and into the corner of the Meghalaya net in the second minute, giving Karnataka the early lead.
The reaction was swift and acute. Sheen Stevenson Sohktung was fouled inside the box in the ninth minute, and Brolington Warlarpih converted the resulting spot-kick with a powerful and assured strike as Meghalaya struck back with a vengeance.
Karnataka beats Meghalaya 3-2 in the finals of the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy 2023 at King Fahd International Stadium, Saudi Arabia.@YASMinistry @IndianEmbRiyadh pic.twitter.com/p2FCEDuzXF
— Prasar Bharati News Services & Digital Platform (@PBNS_India) March 5, 2023
Karnataka was not prepared to feel slowed down—at least not this time. Sunil Kumar was once more in the middle of things in the 19th minute when he transferred the ball to Bekey Oram, who tapped it in as the Meghalaya defence became disorganised. Robin Yadav, who was later named Player of the Championship, took a free kick from about 25 yards out that dipped into the Meghalaya goal, leaving goalkeeper Rajat Paul Lyngdoh visibly frustrated. This occurred three minutes before halftime.
After a rousing display in the first half, Karnataka defence paid for the momentary lapse 15 minutes after the change of ends. Their defenders would find it hard to explain why Sheen was left unmarked in the box and the Meghalaya striker took full advantage of it to pull one back. It did turn the last half an hour of the game into a more exciting one, but Karnataka thereafter remained cautious despite feeling pressure from the rivals from both wings.
Services wins Third Place
The match for the Third place took place between Services and Punjab. Services score one in each half to make it 2-0 against Punjab and book the third spot. Though they were low throughout the game, they turned opportunities into scores whenever they got one.
In the seventh minute, Shafeel PP gave Services the lead after his seemingly harmless shot escaped Punjab goalkeeper Rajat Kumar, much to the disappointment of his teammates and the bench. Punjab did make a few incursions into the opposing half, but their defence was broken by the second goal just after the hour mark. P Although Christopher Kemei’s long shot lacked the necessary bite, it nevertheless managed to find the back of the Punjab goal.
A few minutes later, the goalkeeper for the losing club acted somewhat carelessly while attempting to clear the ball, and only a last-second clearing by a defender prevented a third consecutive goal for Punjab.
Best Goalkeeper: Rajat Paul Lyngdoh
Best Player: Robin Yadav