Services Crowned Santosh Trophy Champions with 1-0 Victory over Goa

Services Crowned Santosh Trophy Champions with 1-0 Victory over Goa

YUPIA, Arunachal Pradesh – Services emerged victorious in the 75th edition of the Santosh Trophy, India’s premier inter-state senior men’s football competition, after a thrilling 1-0 triumph over Goa in the final.

The match at the Golden Jubilee Stadium in Yupia started cautiously, with both teams struggling to find their rhythm in the opening session. However, Services gradually gained the upper hand in the second half, and their persistence paid off in the 67th minute.

Midfielder Rahul Ramakrishnan played a key role in the winning goal, setting up right-back P.P. Shafeel with a precise pass outside the Goa box. Shafeel unleashed a powerful grounder that left Goa goalkeeper Antonio Da Silva with no chance.

Goa, the pre-tournament favorites, fought valiantly to equalize, but Services’ defense stood firm. The best opportunity for Goa came in injury time when substitute Joshua D’Silva’s header beat Services goalkeeper Abdul Kadir, but Pradeep Kumar cleared the ball off the line to preserve the lead.

Services’ victory marks their seventh Santosh Trophy title, moving them up to second place in the all-time standings behind West Bengal (32 titles). The triumph is a testament to the team’s hard work, determination, and tactical discipline.

Goa, despite their disappointment, can take solace in their impressive run to the final. They showcased their attacking prowess throughout the tournament, scoring 14 goals in their previous five matches.

The Santosh Trophy, first held in 1941, is one of the oldest and most prestigious football competitions in India. It provides a platform for talented players from across the country to showcase their skills and represent their states.