Bengaluru FC lifts first ever Super Cup by thrashing East Bengal

Bhubaneswar: Bengaluru FC, the runner-up from Indian Super League (ISL) thrashed Kolkata-based I-League club East Bengal by 4-1 goals to lift the first ever Super Cup title at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

Despite trailing by 1-0 in the beginning, the Bengaluru team came from behind with a brace from their skipper Sunil Chhetri and a goal each by Rahul Bheke and Nicolas Fedor, to clinch the title in front of a packed Kalinga Stadium with equal support for both the sides.

East Bengal got an early chance in the seventh minute while Ansumana Kromah took the ball near the penalty area but he was blocked in a wrong manner by Bengaluru FC goalie Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and John Johnson. Both the Bengaluru players got yellow cards. However, the resulting free-kick from just outside the box was kicked over the post by Yusa Katsumi.

Bengaluru FC then got two good opportunities in 16th and 19th minutes but both went in-vain. Rahul Bheke’s good run was blocked by East Bengal defenders while skipper Sunil Chhetri’s shot on target was stopped by goalie Ubaid CK.

East Bengal opened its account in the 28th minute when a corner kick was nicely converted by Ansumana Kromah. Kromah went for a bicycle kick and the ball went right over Gurpreet Sandhu whose attempt to stop went in vain and East Bengal took the lead.

After the 35th minute, Bengaluru FC attacked continuously and got several chances.  A cross into the box found Miku whose kick deflected off the defender and went out. But, the corner kick after that was converted nicely by Rahul Bheke to give Albert Roca’s Bengaluru FC an equaliser. Rahul’s header went past Ubaid CK and the runner-up team from ISL was back in the game.

Bengaluru dominated the rest of the half and again got opportunities in the 43rd and 45th minutes but both went down begging and the scoreline remained 1-1 at half-time.

East Bengal defender Samad Ali Mallick was shown a red card because of his dangerous tackle against Subhasis Bose in the injury time of the first half.

Bengaluru came back hard after the change of sides. Although East Bengal got a couple of chances in the 50th and 57th minute despite playing with 10 men, they couldn’t make much out of those while Bengaluru played aggressive soccer in the remaining time of the game.

Bengaluru FC was awarded a penalty kick when the ball found the extended arm of Gurwinder Singh inside the box in the 68th minute and captain Chhetri made no mistake in slotting the ball into the post and ensuring a 2-1 lead for Bengaluru FC.

Bengaluru’s hero from the semi-finals, Nicolas Fedor then showed his skills to score the third goal. Victor Perez kicked the ball from the middle of the field to Fedor inside the box and he nicely found the back of the net by beating goalkeeper Ubaid CK.

East Bengal continued to narrow down the goal deficit but all attempts went in-vain and Sunil Chhetri scored the fourth goal for Bengaluru in the 90th minute. A cross from the right flank by Rahul Bheke was headed into the post by the Indian skipper to seal the game for Bengaluru FC.

Sunil Chhetri was awarded man of the match for his double strike for Bengaluru FC while his teammate Nicolas Fedor was adjudged player of the tournament.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik graced the presentation ceremony of the final along with Odisha Sports minister Chandra Sarathi Behera, Debashis Samantaray and Vishal Dev.