In the end, a sweet and inspirational victory
It was perhaps the most decisive goal Ignatius Silvester had scored in his life. That the Kerala skipper did it in the Santosh Trophy final saw the crowds go berserk.
It was perhaps the most decisive goal Ignatius Silvester had scored in his life. That the Kerala skipper did it in the Santosh Trophy final on Sunday, flicking the ball over Punjab goalkeeper Kameshwar's saw the crowds go berserk.
"This victory is sweet, because we couldn't get enough time to prepare. Two-weeks just wasn't enough," said Ignatius later. "We had the star players, but all we needed was to gel together."
To be sure, it was not as if Kerala lived in comfort in the Capital.
Some of the players reportedly suffered food poisoning at a Paharganj hotel, even though the team management wanted to keep it under wraps. It was only after apprising the Kerala sports ministers could they shift to Kerala House.
The skipper's life, in fact, is as inspirational as the win was.
A poor fisherman's son in Trivandrum, Ignatius started dribbling on the beaches. "It is one hell of a story," says one of his team-mates.
The man was good enough then to make it to the Indian side in 2001. At the same time, his team, State Bank of Travancore, got relegated from the National Football League, which meant he never got noticed later.