West Bengal emerged as the winners in the 36th National Games by winning the final against Kerala 5-0. A hat-trick from the captain, Naro Hari Shrestha sealed the win for the team, supported by Rabi Hansda and Amit Chakrabarty.
The two states clashed in the finals of this year’s Santosh Trophy as well. But, Kerala were able to pick up the win on that occasion after winning a penalty shootout. This time, though, the result was the reverse of the previous encounter with Bengal winning easily. They were coached by former India striker Biswajit Bhattacharya to the win
Bengal emerge victors in the 36th National Games
Bengal opened the scoring in the 16th minute, pouncing on errors from the opposition. Kerala were unable to get things going on any front and were out of the game before it even began.
Goals came for the winners in the 30th, 45th, 51st and 85th minutes. Kerala wasted a number of chances to at least come away with a goal, and were unable to prevent their opponents from capitalising on a poor showing.
This is a long-awaited win for Bengal, who have claimed the trophy after eleven years without it. Services claimed third place after beating Karnataka in the bronze medal match.