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.

Goa's Comeback Stuns Manipur, Secures Santosh Trophy Final Berth

Goa’s Comeback Stuns Manipur, Secures Santosh Trophy Final Berth

Goa’s resilience shone through as they staged a remarkable comeback from a goal down to defeat Manipur 2-1 in extra time, securing their 14th appearance in the Santosh Trophy final.

The match began with a high tempo, with both teams creating early chances. However, it was Manipur who broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Ngangbam Pacha Singh unleashed a stunning strike from 30 yards that left Goa goalkeeper Antonio Dylan Inacio da Silva rooted to the spot.

Goa’s hopes seemed to dwindle as Manipur employed a high press that stifled their passing game. However, the Goan team refused to give up and fought back valiantly. Deep into injury time, Necio Maristo Fernandes produced a moment of brilliance, acrobatically back-volleying the ball into the goal from inside the box to send the game into extra time.

In extra time, Manipur came out strong, but Goa remained resolute and looked to hit on the counter. With just four minutes remaining on the clock, Fernandes struck again, running onto a low center from the right and poking the ball in from close range.

The match ended in a flurry of red cards as tempers flared. Manipur head coach Thangjam Saran Singh and a team staff member were dismissed just after Goa’s second goal, while substitute Sushilkumar Singh was sent off in the sixth minute of injury time in extra time.

Goa’s victory sets up a thrilling final against Services, who defeated Mizoram 2-1 in the other semifinal. The Goan team will be aiming to add to their record-breaking 13 Santosh Trophy titles, while Services will be looking to claim their first title since 2012.

Services Edge Mizoram in Santosh Trophy Semifinal Thriller

Services Edge Mizoram in Santosh Trophy Semifinal Thriller

In a thrilling semifinal clash of the 77th National Football Championships for the Santosh Trophy, Services held off a late surge from Mizoram to secure a narrow 2-1 victory.

Services, a six-time champion, dominated the proceedings from the outset, controlling possession and creating several scoring opportunities. In the 21st minute, left-back Subham Rana set up Rahul Ramakrishnan with a sharp cross, which the latter converted with a left-footed drive to give Services the lead.

After the break, Services continued to press forward and doubled their advantage in the 83rd minute. Substitute Bikash Thapa pounced on a back-pass that Mizoram goalkeeper F. Lalmuanawma failed to control and slotted home the insurance goal.

Mizoram, however, refused to go down without a fight. Substitute Malsawmfela, introduced in the 71st minute, caused problems for Services with his physical play. In injury time, Malsawmfela pulled one back for Mizoram with a free-kick, setting up a tense finish.

Despite losing defender Zothanpuia to a red card in the 88th minute, Services held on to their lead, with goalkeeper Shafeel P.P. making a crucial save in the dying seconds to deny Malsawmfela an equalizer.

The victory sends Services to their 12th final in the tournament’s history, where they will face the winner of the other semifinal between Kerala and Punjab.

Mizoram Edges Kerala in Santosh Trophy Quarterfinal Penalty Shootout

Mizoram Edges Kerala in Santosh Trophy Quarterfinal Penalty Shootout

The 77th National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy witnessed a thrilling conclusion to the quarterfinals, with Mizoram edging out Kerala 7-6 in a nail-biting sudden-death penalty shootout.

The match at the Golden Jubilee Stadium on Tuesday saw both teams locked in a goalless stalemate throughout regulation and extra time. The deadlock persisted even in the tie-breaker, with the teams tied 5-5 before Kerala’s Sujith V.R. missed his attempt, handing Mizoram the victory.

Mizoram’s M.C. Malsawmzuala, Malsawmfela, F.C. Lalhmunmawia, E. Lalremtluanga, L. Tochhawng, Lalremruata, and Lalbiakthanga all converted their penalties, while Kerala’s Sanju G, Arjun V, Mohamed Salim, Riswanali Edakkavil, Sarath Prasanth K, and Jithin Gopalakrishnan scored before Sujith’s crucial miss.

The match was characterized by end-to-end action, with both Kerala and Mizoram creating numerous chances. However, poor finishing and solid goalkeeping from both sides kept the scoreline blank.

Earlier in the day, former champion Manipur showcased their attacking prowess with a resounding 7-1 victory over Assam in the third quarterfinal. Sadananda Singh led the charge for Manipur with a hat-trick, while Phijam Sanathoi Meetei, Ngangbam Pacha Singh (penalty), Maibam Deny Singh, and Imarson Meitei also found the net. Joydeep Gogoi scored the lone goal for Assam.

With these results, Mizoram and Manipur have advanced to the semifinals of the Santosh Trophy, while Kerala and Assam have been eliminated.

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