Goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani made three brilliant saves as Hyderabad FC clinched their maiden Indian Super League title by defeating Kerala Blasters in a penalty shoot-out in the summit clash here on Sunday.
Hyderabad beat Kerala 3-1 in a shootout after the match ended 1-1 in regulation and extra time.
For Hyderabad, Joao Victor, Khasa Kamara and Halicharan Narzari scored while only Ayush Adhikari scored in the shoot-out as Kerala suffered heartbreak for the third time in the final.
It was Kattimani’s day as his valor helped Hyderabad win the shoot-out. He saved a spot kick from Mark Leskovic, Nishu Kumar and Jackson Singh.
As Narzary’s spot kick sent Kerala goalkeeper Prabhasukhan Gill the wrong way, Hyderabad conceded defeat and supporters on the stands erupted in joy, while it was heartbreaking for ardent Kerala fans as the spectators returned after two years. Returned to the stadium to watch the ISL match. ,
Earlier in the match, 22-year-old Rahul KP’s goal in the 68th minute put Kerala ahead, but Sahil Tavora equalized in the 88th minute with a brilliant volley.
Rahul broke the deadlock in the 68th minute with a brilliant right footed shot from outside the box until there was nothing to differentiate between the two teams.
Rahul came on while charging towards goal and hit a shot blinder, leaving only one hand before rival custodian Kattimani hit the net.
Kerala must have thought they would win their maiden ISL title, but Tavora broke their heart as he left only two minutes for the final whistle with a breath-taking right-footed volley from the edge of the box.
Both sides failed to create winners in extra time as they went into penalty shoot-outs.
Hyderabad midfielder Souvik Chakraborty had hit a shot early in the match, but Kerala goalkeeper Prabhusukhan Singh Gill had the task of handling it.
In the 14th minute, Hermanjot Khabra struck a cross for striker Jorge Diaz, who was free inside the box, but the Argentine could not connect.
In the 23rd minute, Lalthanga Khavalring took the ball to the left-flank, passed Chakraborty and passed Alvaro Vazquez, but the Hyderabad defenders did not allow the ball to go past the backline.
Kerala captain Luna attempted a dipping shot from outside the box in the 30th minute, but it was easily captured by rival custodian Laxmikant Kattimani.
Hyderabad had a chance to score when Javier Sievero in place of Joel Chianis led the goal with a free-kick, but Gill made a brilliant save before Thounaojam Jackson cleaned the ball for the corner, even that both sides were locked out 0-0. half the time.
After a change of ends, Hyderabad started on the front foot and gave a few chances in quick succession.