Santosh Trophy 2018 Final: West Bengal captain Jiten Murmu turns goalkeeper in penalty shootout against Kerala; watch video
What's the Story?
Kerala, who had dominated the proceedings in this seasons' Santosh Trophy, have emerged victorious after they defeated defending champions West Bengal on penalties to lift the Santosh Trophy.
However, the spotlight from the exciting finale falls on the runners up captain Jiten Murmu, who, besides from being the forward, took on the goalkeeping responsibilities for his side.
In case you didn't know...
West Bengal, are the traditional heayweights of the Santosh Trophy, having won the competition 32 times so far. While their victories have not been as frequent in the recent years, Bengal returned to the top last season, when they beat fellow heavyweights Goa.
The Heart of the matter
Cheered on by a capacity crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, West Bengal came back from behind twice, once in normal time, and the second time in extra time.
However, they missed their first two penalties to go under immense pressure against Kerala. They did manage to survive for a while longer, but Kerala's had the chance to win it for the away side, who were winning 3-2 on penalties, when Seesan S walked up to the box.
At this point, West Bengal captain Jiten Murmu stepped up to the plate and keeper Rajit Majumder to stand aside, as he donned the gloves and a bib, to take up the goalkeeping responsibilities.
However, even Murmu could not save his side, as Seesan calmly slotted it into the net.
This is truly a great moment for Kerala football. While the ISL and the I-League sides from the state, Kerala Blasters and Gokulam Kerala, have hovering in mid-table obscurity, their state team completely dominated the Santosh Trophy to clinch the title.
It will be interesting to see what more comes out of the state in terms of football.
Kerala is a state that is known to be crazy about football. The sheer number of people who throng to the stadiums prove that cricket is not the numero uno sport in Kerala. A Santosh Trophy victory will go a long way to establish Kerala as a footballing powerhouse in the country.