Santosh Trophy 2022 | Meghalaya beat Rajasthan 3-2 in close battle
Meghalaya and Rajasthan players in action.|
Meghalaya defeated Rajasthan 3-2, while Kerala won their second consecutive game, defeating West Bengal 2-0, in the 75th Santosh Trophy here. For Meghalaya, Figo Syndai scored twice, while Hardy Cliff Nongbri scored a game-winning penalty kick, while Youraj and Imran Khan scored for Rajasthan.
Youraj gave Rajasthan an early lead in the second minute at Kottapadi Stadium. He was stationed near the near post, ready to offer a headed flick-on to a long throw-in from the near touchline. Despite the early loss, Meghalaya kept attacking their opponents in search of a way back into the game. In the 25th minute, Figo Syndai equalised Meghalaya with a left-footed strike from an acute angle from outside the box.
Rajasthan goalie Gajraj Singh would have been frustrated to be defeated from long range at the near post. Rajasthan had a chance to reclaim the lead ten minutes later when Goutam Bissa released Youraj Singh through on goal, but Youraj failed to control the ball inside the box at the key moment. Frolicson Dkhar, the goalie for Meghalaya, rushed out fast to steal the ball from Youraj's feet and make an easy save.
The game had a sudden change in the 39th minute when Figo Syndai completed his hat trick and Meghalaya scored their second goal. Syndai was sent in on goal by a wonderfully weighted through pass behind the Rajasthan backline, and he made no mistake in front of goal as Meghalaya led at the break. Imran Khan forced the issue in the 56th minute, as Rajasthan United stepped up their efforts to find an equaliser on the other side of the interval.
After Dkhar parried a wickedly twisting long-range effort, Imran pounced to bury the rebound and re-level the game. In the 63rd minute, the referee gave a penalty kick to Meghalaya after substitute Stephanson Pale was hauled down inside the area by a tackle from defender Ankit Sharma.
Hardy, the captain of Meghalaya, stepped up to take the penalty kick and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner after sending Gajraj Singh the wrong way. As the game swung back and forth in favor of either side in the final half-hour, Meghalaya hung on to claim their first win, while Rajasthan suffered their second straight defeat.