Santosh Trophy 2018 Final: Superstition led West Bengal striker Jiten Murmu to turn goalkeeper against Kerala

Bengal came up short in the final
Bengal came up short in the final
Sarthak Sharma

What's the story?

The final of the Santosh Trophy 2018 had fans on the edge of their seats for the most part, as the best footballing states in the land battled it out for the coveted national crown. Kerala and West Bengal had been fairly dominant up until the final so the stage was set for a grand finale at Salt Lake Stadium earlier today.

The game lived up to the hype and following a 2-2 draw after extra time, the trophy was set to be decided via a penalty shoot-out. It was during this shoot-out that fans were left bewildered by Bengal's decision to have skipper Jiten Murmu take over the duties of goalkeeper from Rajit Majumder. The move proved in vain as Kerala slotted home and were subsequently crowned Santosh Trophy Champions.

In case you didn't know...

The game went to penalties after goals from Jithin Ms and Vibin for Kerala and Murmu and Tirthankar for West Bengal ensured that the game wasn't going to be decided in regulation time.

The heart of the matter

Following his side's narrow defeat, Bengal Coach Ranjan Chowdhury was asked about the decision to have captain Murmu don the goalkeeping gloves.

"It was all decided by the players. This was not planned initially. Apparently, Jiten saves penalties very well. I advised them not to do this. But they have some superstition that whenever Jiten stands in goal, he saves it, or the striker shoots outside" he said.

Needless to say, the superstition didn't work out too well for the 32-time Santosh Trophy Champions.

What's next?

They may have lost this particular bout, but Bengal will take heart from the fact that they are the most successful Santosh Trophy side and will surely bounce back in the next edition.

Author's take

The bizarre decision may have backfired but Murmu's contributions to the team cannot be understated. His ability to lead from the front certainly shouldn't be doubted.

Edited by Kishan Prasad


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