Laxmikant Kattimani’s feat helped Hyderabad FC win the KBFC and Clinch Maiden ISL titles


Laxmikant Kattimani saved three penalties as Hyderabad FC won 3-1 in a nerve-racking penalty shootout against Kerala Blasters FC and a sea of ​​their yellow supporters in the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League final. The packed PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Sunday.

Hyderabad FC became champions for the first time, endorsing the vision of Manolo Marquez, a well-rounded team with a perfect mix of youth and experience, but it ended in a 1-1 draw with a lottery to decide the winners in a similarly competitive summit clash. Extra time because the two teams could not separate in 90 minutes.

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Rahul KP (68th) started scoring for Kerala, before Sahil Tavora (88th) equalized with a stunning goal and took the game into extra time before Kattimani failed to get his hands on a long ranger. After the outfits canceled each other out in 30 minutes, a shootout ensued to determine the champion.

Marco Leskovic, Nishu Kumar and Jackson Singh saw their efforts saved brilliantly by Kattimani, but the 32-year-old veteran goalkeeper saved Nishu twice but his first half was ruled out as Nishu was out of his line. For Hyderabad, skipper Joao Victor, Khasa Kamara and Helicharan Narzari found the back of the net after Javier Civario shot from above the bar. The only goal from Kerala was scored by AYUSH officer.

It was heartbreaking for Kerala as they reached the final for the third time, only the second best when it was the most important. Thousands of Kerala fans, many of whom traveled by road from home, were left tall and dry as their team fell into the last hurdle after a stellar performance.

Kerala, missing Sahal Abdul Samad due to injury, had a good start from the first minute and it remained so during the first half at the end of halftime, excluding Severio’s attempt.

Jorge Diaz could have helped Kerala take the early lead but Argentine forward Harmanjot Khabra could not connect well with the floater that caught Ashish Rai asleep.

Diaz appeared to be in superb form as he ragged the Hyderabad defense and scored an off-the-ball run that kept the opposing defense on the tenterhook. At the half hour mark, Luna tried to sink his trademark but the ball was easily collected by Laxmikant Kattimani in Hyderabad’s goal.

The game got off to a lively start with Kerala dominating action but the tempo slowed down a bit after the initial exchange with both the teams. Kerala managed to keep Ogbechan calm but the likes of Luna and Vazquez also really struggled to survive.

Hyderabad were hit when Joel Chianis was replaced by Javier Severio as the former player was injured in the 39th minute and almost immediately Vazquez found the woodwork when Luna put a fun ball inside the box for Khabra. And Vazquez charges for the first time to get to the goal. The strike missile hit the cannon from the crossbar as Hyderabad breathed a sigh of relief.

Before half-time, Severio forced Prabhusukhan Gill to save brilliantly after Prabhusukhan Gill met the Spaniard at the end of Yasir Mohammed’s free-kick, only to have his header turned to a nearby post.

Hyderabad FC came out flashing all the guns in the second period, Joao Victor saved Gill from a distance and pushed him for diving and Ogbech fired at the bar after exploding on goal with first agility. Against the run-off play, Kerala took the lead.

Vazquez found Rahul in the final third, which was later blamed by Hyderabad defenders for not stopping him. Rahul then tried his luck from a distance and Kattimani should have performed better, got a weak hand on the ball but failed to keep it away from the goal.

Gil then Ogbech retained his side in the driver’s seat with a superb save from a free-kick but Hyderabad’s continuous blast paid off after two minutes of full time, with Tavora scoring after clearing an amusing ball inside the box from Halicharan Narzari as a second option. Defense

In extra time, Ogbechen’s overhead kick went wide in the first half when a Nigerian attempt was cleared in a second essay by Marco Leskovic. Kerala coach Ivan Vukomanovic raised some eyebrows with Vince Barreto replacing Vazquez but it looked like the Spaniard had pushed.

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