New Delhi: MSP Malappuram became the first team to score a goal against Ukraine's FC Dynamo Kyiv but that was not enough for the Indian team to stop the visitors from winning the final 5-2 and lift the boy's U-17 Subroto Cup crown here today.
The Ukraine outfit was the outright favourite for the title given the clinical display en route to the final, but the Kerala team, who had qualified for the Subroto Cup final for the very first time in the history of the tournament was determined not to go down without a fight in front of a vociferous crowd that had gathered to support them.
The first few minutes went according to the script with the European team asserting their supremacy with possession football and Dmytro Zayikin scoring two of his four goals in the 10th and 13th minute.
However, the two goals did little to dampen the spirit of the Kerala boys, who brought the stadium on its feet through a 15th minute strike by Muhammed Sabith.
Unsettled by the goal, Ukraine pressed harder but Kerala goalkeeper Vishnu VK managed to hold them off for another 10 minutes before two more goals in four minutes made the result a foregone conclusion.
Despite the loss, Kerala coach Benoy C James praised his side for the fighting display. "The way our boys attacked and secured the first goal that definitely had raised our confidence and the crowd support gave us all the more support.
"It is the first time that Kerala had qualified for the finals in the history of Subroto Cup and we are happy with the performance of the boys."
Ukraine team manager Ivan also had a word of praise for their opponents. "When the Indian team scored the first goal and with the crowd support all for the local team, our boys had initial jitters but soon we were back to playing self.