After 120 days of enthralling football, fans of the Indian Super League (ISL) witnessed a thrilling grand finale that saw Hyderabad FC clinch their maiden trophy after beating Kerala Blasters FC 3-1 on penalties at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Sunday.
While fans of the Ivan Vukomanović’s side were disappointed that their team missed their third chance to secure the coveted trophy, supporters of Hyderabad went berserk after goalkeeper Kattimani went from zero to hero saving three shots on target in the penalty shootout.
After a goalless first half, Rahul KP helped Kerala Blasters open their tally with a stunning goal in the 69th minute. The striker took a shot from outside the box, and although Hyderabad’s goalkeeper Kattimani got a faint touch, the ball slipped from his grasp and crept inside the net.
From then on, Kerala looked comfortable to win until Hyderabad FC’s Tavora spoilt their road to victory. In the 88th minute of the game, Tavora equalised with perhaps one of the season’s best goals.
After 120 minutes of football, the final went into a penalty shootout all square between the two teams.
It has been a season to remember for both Hyderabad and Kerala, reaching the summit of the ISL 2021-22 season on the back of some scintillating performances. Hyderabad FC had finished second in the table with 38 points, while Kerala was fourth, having 34 in their kitty.
On Sunday, both outfits took the field in front of a packed house with fans allowed back in the stands after two years. The tickets were sold in record time, with the massive Kerala fanbase thronging Goa in numbers to watch their favourite stars in action. The buzz was no less for Hyderabad FC, who had reached the final for the first time.