Super Cup Football: Nicolas Fedor’s hat-trick takes Bengaluru FC into the final
Bhubaneswar: A brilliant hat-trick by Nicolas Fedor and a last moment goal by skipper Sunil Chhetri, all coming in the second half, took ISL runner’s up Bengaluru FC (BFC) into the finals of Super Cup Football Tournament as they defeated Kolkata-based I-League side Mohun Bagan by 4-2 goals.
Both the sides started off with aggressive intent. Mohun Bagan got an opportunity to score a goal very early in the seventh minute of the game. Sk Faiaz passed the ba to Nikhil Kadam inside the box who kicked the ball over the post.
Two minutes later, Nicolas Fedor crossed the ball for Boithang Haokip but his kick hit the side net. Mohun Bagan then got a free-kick and Yuta Kinowaki tried his level best to convert that into a goal but the kick went over the goalpost.
Bengaluru players attacked in numbers in the 18th minute but another golden opportunity went down begging as Udanta Singh’s powerful kick after receiving the cross from skipper Sunil Chhetri went to the left of the goalpost. BFC again created pressure inside the box in the 37th minute with Harmonjot Khabra passing the ball to captain Chhetri whose poor connection allowed goalie Shilton Paul to collect the ball.
The only goal of the half was scored by Dipanda Dicka to give Mohun Bagan a crucial lead in the 42nd minute. Akram Moghrabi found Dicka with a good cross from the left and the Cameroonian striker easily tapped the ball into the post to give 1-0 lead for the Kolkata-based I-League club.
Mohun Bagan was close to score the second goal in the injury time of the first half but linesman raised his flag as he found Sk Faiaz in an offside position before passing the ball to Akram Moghrabi.
Bengaluru FC was charged up and looked completely different in the second half. They attacked from the very first minute with Nishu Kumar trying to score of a cross from Nicolas Fedor but a poor shot was saved by Shilton Paul.
Four minutes later, Bengaluru FC were down to 10 men after Nishu Kumar was shown a red card for pulling down Nikhil Kadam in a very wrong manner while the latter was trying to run hard from the middle with the ball and there was none apart from goalie Gurpreet Singh Sandhu near the Bengaluru goalpost.
Despite playing with 10 men on the pitch and with one goal defecit, Albert Roca’s Bengaluru boys showed amaziy positive intent as Nicolas Fedor scored the equaliser for them in the 62nd minute. Recieving the ball from Udanta Singh inside the box, Nicolas skillfully went past two Mohun Bagan defenders and managed to beat Shilton Paul to make it 1-1.
Three minutes later, Nicolas got a free-kick inside the box which he slotted it nicely into the post to give BFC a lead of 2-1. Although Mohun Bagan made constant attempts but their chances in the 72nd and 81st minute went in-vain.
Substitute defender of Mohun Bagan commited a foul inside the box in the 88th minute and the Bengaluru side got a penalty kick which was converted by Nicolas Fedor without any problems and BFC doubled the lead in the 89th minute.
Problems increased even more for Mohun Bagan when the Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri scored a brilliant goal from the left wing. His kick directly went into the left corner of the post and in the 90th minute, Bengaluru was leading 4-1.
Dipanda Dicka though scored a consultation goal in the injury time for Mohun Bagan, it was not enough for setting up a Kolkata derby in the final as Bengaluru FC won the thrilling second semifinal by 4-2 goals to set up the summit clash against East Bengal on April 20.
Venezuelan striker Nicolas Fedor was awarded Man of the Match for his hat-trick and exceptional skills in the forward line for Bengaluru FC.