Bengal win Santosh Trophy 2011

Bengal retained the Santosh Trophy with a 2-1 victory over Manipur in the summit clash to win their 31st title of the national championships on Monday. Strikers Branco Cardozo (21st minute) and Budhiram Tudu (48th) scored for Bengal while Manipur pulled one back through Nabachandra Singh in the 75th minute at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. Manipur were playing in only their second final after winning the title in 2002. West Bengal sports minister Madan Mitra congratulated the state football team on winning the prestigious Santosh Trophy after defeating Manipur in the final in Guwahati. "We are happy for the super performance of the Bangal soccer team who has restored the past glory of Bengal in football arena," Mitra said.
The Bengal team was leading 1-0 prior to the intermission. Manipur, upbeat after having held
Bengal 2-2 in an earlier league match, was eyeing their second Santosh Trophy after 2002. This was the Northeast state’s second final appearance. But the more experienced Bengal side prevented Manipur from repeating history. The two teams had met each other in 2002 with Manipur coming up trumps. “We were without our star players who were not released by the top clubs into I-League, but our boys did us proud,” said Bengal coach and former international Shabbir Ali. Bengal had much of the possession in the first half, scoring within the first 20 minutes. They consolidated soon after the breather, but Manipur came back strongly to reduce the deficit by a goal and coming close to scoring at least two more. “Our finishing has been poor in this tournament,” said Manipur coach S Ekendra Singh. “But full marks to Bengal for a good show.”