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Brisbane Maroons Triumph

Brisbane Maroons Triumph
Akash Khatri of London slots in their equalising goal during the Vodafone Kshatriya World Cup final against Brisbane Maroons at Prince Charles Park, Nadi on July 1, 2018. The Maroons struck back to win 3-2. Photo: Arieta Vakuawaqa
July 02
12:09 2018

Brisbane Maroons are the new winners of the Vodafone Kshatriya World Cup 2018 tournament at Prince Charles Park, Nadi yesterday. The Maroons pipped London 3-2 in a hard fought final.

Maroons coach Jitendra Kumar Balia said they are planning to celebrate the win in Brisbane before they start preparing to defend the title in 2020.

What happened: Maroons started strongly and in the fifth minute drew first blood when Hitesh Khatri slotted in the first goal.

It took time for the London side to settle down but Maroons upped the tempo and Rakesh Solanki slammed in their second goal as they led 2-0.

Halftime: Maroons 2-0 London

With play being centred around midfield the London side finally settled down and in the 23rd minute they scored their first goal through Kushal Kamani.

Again, catching the Maroons defenders napping they scored the equaliser in the 34th  minute through Akash Khatri.

The match got heated up as both teams searched for the winning goal. In the 52nd minute a penalty was awarded to the Maroons and Hitesh Khatri was at hand to place the ball to the back of the net.

Star turn: Maroons star Khatri led their comeback and spearheaded the move that led to the penalty kick which gave them the winning goal.

Big play; London’s Kamani and Akash Khatri scored two quick goals in the second half to level the scores at 2-2.

Comments; Brisbane Maroons coach Jitendra Kumar Balia said: “The boys’ performance was fantastic because we never thought that we would play in the final. We had so many injuries but we came out stronger after losing to London in the pool match.

“The plan now is to celebrate the win in Brisbane and we will prepare to defend this title in 2020.”

London coach Dupa Pratap said: “I wanted them to win today but it was not to be but I’m proud of the boys.”

-Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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