Updated May 22nd, 2024 at 22:05 IST

Delhi crowned champions of inaugural Swami Vivekananda U-20 football meet

After 40 days of non-stop action involving 32 teams, Delhi came out on top after a memorable final, where they came from behind three times to take the game to penalties.

Delhi FC | Image:Delhi FC
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Delhi were crowned winners of the inaugural Swami Vivekananda U-20 Men's National Football Championship, beating Karnataka 4-3 on penalties following a thrilling 3-3 draw after extra time here on Wednesday.

The match was played at the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Ground.

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After 40 days of non-stop action involving 32 teams, Delhi came out on top after a memorable final, where they came from behind three times to take the game to penalties.

Karnataka's Ishaan Raghunanda and Delhi's Sankhil Darpol Tuishang struck a brace each for their sides before the latter struck the winning penalty for Delhi.

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Delhi had the first real chance to take the lead in the third minute when captain Lamlallian ST won possession in the final third, ran into the box but dragged his effort wide.

Karnataka opened the scoring soon after in the 12th minute with Ishaan Raghunanda's delicate finish.

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It started with a perfect long ball from Gautam Rajesh, which Raghunanda controlled with a great first touch. He made a couple of yards for himself, beating defender Kamginsei Touthang before tucking the ball into the far post with the outside of his boot.

In the 18th minute, Karnataka goalkeeper Sam George came to his side's rescue as he made himself big to deny Ramesh Chhetri in a one-on-one situation from close range.

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But the Karnataka custodian couldn't do anything about Delhi's equalising goal which came in the 43rd minute via captain Lamlallian, leaving the second half nicely poised.

The intensity of the match remained high after the restart as both sides put bodies forward in a desperate hunt for the second goal.

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Karnataka were the ones who got it, and it took something special from Nithin Paul to help them regain the lead. Running out of options in the box, M Nihaar passed the ball back to Paul, who lashed a first-time shot with his left foot from 30 yards out.

They would've doubled their advantage in the 67th minute had Makkar not pulled off a great double save in quick succession to deny Paul and Saikhom Borish Singh.

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But one mistake in the Karnataka backline led to parity again in the 71st minute. Arjun Gouda failed to clear a loose ball in the box and Delhi substitute Sankhil Darpol Tuishang pounced on it and squeezed it past George.

Karnataka had the best chance of winning the match in normal time but the woodwork came to Delhi's rescue. .

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However, in the very first minute of extra time, Karnataka took the lead for the third time in the match.

Raghunanda set up the pitch on fire again, as he did numerous times during the entire tournament.

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He spurted forward from the half-line, leaving several Delhi shirts in his wake with his fine dribbling skills, and just upon entering the box, he pulled the trigger with his left foot and lodged the ball into the far corner to make it 3-2.

Delhi had been matching Karnataka every step of the way in normal time and the script continued in extra time. They got their third equaliser in the 98th minute thanks to Tuishang again. 

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Published May 22nd, 2024 at 22:05 IST