Hyderabad FC beat Kerala Blasters to win their first ISL title

Goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani made three impressive saves as Hyderabad FC clinched their first Indian Super League title after defeating Kerala Blasters on penalties in the top-flight game here on Sunday.

Hyderabad defeated Kerala 3-1 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 in regular time and overtime.

For Hyderabad, Joao Victor, Khassa Camara and Halicharan Narzary scored while only Ayush Adhikari scored on penalties as Kerala suffered heartbreak for the third time in the final.

It was Kattimani’s day as his exploits helped Hyderabad prevail on penalties. He saved Mark Leskovic, Nishu Kumar and Jeakson Singh from penalties.

As soon as Narzary’s penalty sent Kerala goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill the wrong way, Hyderabad swooped in and fans in the stands erupted in joy, while fervent Kerala fans were heartbroken as spectators returned to the stadium after two years to watch a see ISL game .

Early in the game, 22-year-old Rahul KP’s goal in the 68th minute gave Kerala the lead, but Sahil Tavora equalized for Sahil Tavora with a stunning 88th-minute volley.

There wasn’t much to distinguish between the two teams until Rahul broke the block with a stunning right foot shot from outside the box in the 68th minute.

Rahul charged for goal and caught a blinder of a shot that rival goalkeeper Kattimani only got a hand on before hitting the net.

Kerala must have thought they were about to lift their first ISL title, but Tavora broke their hearts when he scored a stunning right-footed volley from the edge of the box just two minutes from the final whistle.

In extra time, neither team managed to score a winning goal as the game went to penalties.

Hyderabad midfielder Souvik Chakrabarti had a shot early in the game but Kerala goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Singh Gill was up to the task to deal with it.

In the 14th minute, Harmanjot Khabra lashed out at striker Jorge Diaz, who was free in the box, but the Argentine couldn’t connect it.

In the 23rd minute, Lalthathanga Khawlhring got the ball on the left flank, hopped past Chakrabarti and passed Alvaro Vazquez, but the Hyderabad defenders did well not to let the ball sneak past the defence.

Kerala skipper Luna tried a shot from outside the box in the 30th minute but rival goalkeeper Laximikanth Kattimani collected it with ease.

Hyderabad had a scoring opportunity when Javier Sivero, replacing Joel Chianese, headed on target from a free kick but Gill made a wonderful save before Thounaojam Jeakson cleared the ball for a corner despite both sides being 0-0 at half-time.

After the break, Hyderabad started up front and had a couple of chances in quick succession.

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