Kerala beat Bengal to top Santosh group
KOLKATA: Kerala topped Group A when they beat reigning champions Bengal 1-0 in the ongoing 72nd Santosh Trophy at the Mohun Bagan ground on Tuesday.
Rahul KP was the man who got the winning goal from Jithin MS' cross I the 90thminute. The two teams had already made the semi-finals.
Bengal dominated proceedings initially and enjoyed better ball possession. They got the first major chance to break the deadlock in the 6th minute when attacking midfielder Sandip Bhattacharjee attempted a volley inside the box but the ball went just above the crossbar.
Kerala won a free-kick just outside Bengal's penalty box in the 13th minute after Jithin MS was brought down. It was their first major chance to score but Lijo S' shot sailed above the crossbar.
The home side squandered the easiest chance of the first half in the 33rd minute when Sujay Dutta failed to tap the ball in from a handshaking distance. Sandip initiated the move with a through ball for Bidyasagar Singh on the right side of the box. The winger squared the ball for Dutta but he failed to push the ball into the back of the net.
At the stroke of half time, Bengal missed yet another chance. Rajon Barman received a pass from Sandip and forwarded a through ball inside the box eyeing Sourav Dasgupta's run but Kerala custodian Hajmal S came out of his line in time and collected the ball.
In the 56th minute, the visitors got an opportunity to score the opening goal. Prolific goalscorer Jithin MS received but failed to convert.