Unbeaten Kerala clinched their seventh Santosh Trophy title after beating the record 32-time Santosh Trophy champions West Bengal in the penalty shootout of the final of the 2021/22 edition.
The latest Santosh Trophy final was organised on Monday (2nd May) night at the Manjeri Payyanad Stadium in Malappuram, Kerala. After the goalless draw at the end of 90 minutes, West Bengal opened the scoreline in the first half of the extra time. Dilip Orawn’s header put ahead of the record-time Santosh Trophy winners in the 97 minutes of the game.
Just four minutes before the original extra-time limit (excluding injury time), Bibin Ajayan equalised the scoreline with another header. The match finally entered the tie-breaker round after the scoreline remained 1-1 at the end of the extra time.
In the five-round penalty shootout, only Sajal Bag failed to score for West Bengal, as Kerala won that penalty shootout by a 5-4 margin. In the middle of that penalty shootout, both teams changed their respective goalkeepers.
While Hajmal s replaced the Kerala goalie Midhun V after the completion of the third-round penalty shootout, West Bengal’s Raja Burman came to challenge only the last shot of the penalty shootout after the goalie Priyant Singh levelled the shootout scoreline to 4-4.
In the last moment of the game, Faslurahman Methukayil successfully managed to beat the fresh goalie Raja Burman to snatch the Santosh Trophy title.
The brief story of the penalty shootout of the Santosh Trophy 2021/22 final
Santosh Trophy 2021/22: Journey of Kerala and West Bengal
In the zonal qualification round of this tournament, both West Bengal and Kerala hosted their respective groups and finished on top of their respective groups by winning all of their matches.
In the Group Stage of this Santosh Trophy edition, West Bengal and the hosts Kerala fought in the same Group A. While West Bengal only lost against Kerala (by 2-0) in that Group Stage to finish in the second position of that group, Kerala managed three wins and one draw (against Meghalaya) to end on top of the same points table.
In the semi-finals of this tournament, Kerala beat Karnataka by 7-3, and West Bengal clinched a 3-0 win against Manipur.
Ultimately, Kerala had the last laugh in this Santosh Trophy edition.
Kerala are now the 3rd most successful team in this tournament’s history
While the 46-time Santosh Trophy finalists West Bengal are holding the record of winning the most titles with 32 times, Punjab are in the second position with eight such trophies. Now, Kerala are in the third spot in the list of winning the most Santosh Trophy titles after securing it for the seventh time.