Santosh Trophy | Bikash Thapa goal secures title win for Services
A second-half Bikash Thapa strike paved way for Services to win their sixth Santosh Trophy title with a 1-0 victory over Punjab at the Guru Nanak Stadium on Sunday. This is the sixth time Services have won the Santosh Trophy, finishing runner-ups on five of the 11 times they reached the final.
After a slow start to the final played between Services and Punjab football team at the Guru Nanak Stadium on Sunday, both the sides looked to be cautious in the opening stages of the game. But the home team had more initiative during the opening exchanges as they managed few shots on target, leaving Services a lot of tasks to do in the second half.
However, Services gradually grew into the game and built their own articulate attacks down the flanks. But things were different in the second half after Services came out with a clear aim to go for a win. Services’ Lallawmkima found himself on the edge of the Punjab area with the ball who squared it to winger Bikash Thapa. The dangerous player did enough to slot the ball into the bottom corner.
Incidentally, the last time Services played in the Santosh Trophy final was in 2015 at the same venue and against the same opposition. The home team won the final by 5-4 on penalties after it ended 0-0 post extra time. This is the sixth time Services has won the Santosh Trophy as they finished as runners-up on five of the 11 occasions it has reached the final.