Manjeri: Jesin TK is the name that reverberates on the heart of every football-loving Malayalee who witnessed his stand-out performance against Karnataka in Santosh Trophy semi finals here on Thursday. Kerala was dominant throughout the match yet needed a clinical finisher up front.
In this dilemma, and one goal down in the 30th minute, the 22-year-old, came on as a substitute. Three minutes later, he set the football-loving Manjeri on fire by netting his opener and the equaliser for Kerala.
Jesin struck his second of the game in the 41st minute to give a 2-1 lead for Kerala. He poked the ball into the goal from a brilliant counterattack before beating the defender inside the box. Jesin completed his hattrick after Gilbert's shot from the left deflected off the goalkeeper and fell perfectly for him to tap it in the 44th minute. He netted two more in the second half to become the first player to come on as a substitute and score five goals in Santosh Trophy.
Previously the record was held by Jaswant Singh of Maharashtra, who came on as a substitute in 1987 against Haryana and scored three goals. Jesin is also the player who has scored the most goals in a match for Kerala, beating the record set by Asif Zaheer, who scored four goals against Nagaland in the 1999 Santosh Trophy.
Inder Singh holds the record for most goals in a single match, having scored seven goals in a single match at the 1974 Santosh Trophy. The record for most goals in a Santosh Trophy final is held by the legendary Bengal player Mohammad Habeeb. In 1969, he scored five goals against Services.