New Delhi: Brazilian school Colegio Estadul Santo Antonio on Monday clinched the Under-17 boys title after defeating MSP Higher Secondary School Kerala 5-4 in a penalty shootout in the 55th edition of the Subroto Cup international football tournament at Ambedkar Stadium here.
The visiting team had to come from behind to stay in the match as the summit clash ended 2-2 in full time and the eventual champions needed a sudden death to clinch the crown.
In fact, the Kerala outfit looked set to take home the trophy when they took a 2-0 lead and though the Brazilians had managed to pull one goal back, all they needed was to hold on to the ball in the dying minutes.
But Jose Ricardo had different plans as the Brazillian mid-fielder found the net with the last kick of the match deep into injury time to take the final match to penalty shoot out.
Winning team manager Marcel said, "We had lot of opportunity to win the match but when another team decides to sit back and defend it becomes very difficult to score goals.
"Thankfully we got the equalizer at the dying moment and in the penalty it was anybody's game and we are happy to win. I thank ADIDAS and Indian Force for inviting us to be part of this historic tournament and we look forward to come next year."
Kerala custodian MS Sujith was undoubtedly the hero of the final as he managed to keep the Brazilians at bay for the first 43 minutes and helped his team launch counter attacks that Mahin Hussain (14th minute) and Gani Ahmad Nigam (43rd) managed to convert into goals.
Ricardo gave the Brazilians a glimmer of hope in the 44th minute with his first strike and then handed them a lifeline in injury time.
In the penalty shoot out, both teams managed to convert four of their five shots and the Brazilians could heave a sigh of relief only when Jonas M J missed his shot to hand victory to the pre-tournament favourites.
The winners took home a prize purse of Rs 3.5 lakh and the runners-up got richer by Rs 2 lakh.
A minute's silence was observed before the match due to the untimely demise of HFO V N Singh yesterday, whose 41 years of association with Durand and Subroto Cup had been instrumental in the smooth conduct of the tournament for so many years.