Karnataka last won the title 54 years ago and their triumph this year was special as they became the first to win the national championship on foreign soil.
The semifinals and final of the oldest national championship were played outside the subcontinent for the first time after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed a MoU with the Saudi Arabia Football Federation.
🏆 KARNATAKA ARE CHAMPIONS AFTER 5️⃣4️⃣ YEARS 🏆It was a close call in the end, but Karnataka get over the line in… https://t.co/S3b5UsapWG
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) 1677950728000
M Sunil Kumar (2’), Bekey Oram (19’) and Robin Yadav (45’) scored for the champions, while first-time finalists Meghalaya provided a tough fight with goals from Brolington Warlarpih (9’) and Sheen Stevenson (60’).
They were unlucky in added time as Figo Syndai’s effort hit the post.
Karnataka coach had said they would finish the match as early as possible and Ravi Babu Raju wasn’t joking. Sunil Kumar, who had come on as a substitute in the semifinal and scored, was at it again, this time scoring with a volley from a long throw-in that fell at his feet.
Congratulations Karnataka for winning #SantoshTrophy and also to be part of the history in @IndianFootball that VAR… https://t.co/mZObt7Yh4g
— Kalyan Chaubey (@kalyanchaubey) 1677964226000
Meghalaya and Karnataka have been in situations where they have fought their way back and it was no different for Khlain Symiemlieh’s side.
Meghalaya won a penalty after Nikhil G brought down Sheen. Brolington, playing his last match for the team, converted with ease.