Indian Football

Super Cup: 10-man Bengaluru FC register comeback 4-2 victory over Mohun Bagan

Bengaluru’s Miku scored a hat-trick to book the Blues’ place in the Super Cup final, after Nishu Kumar was sent off.

A 10-man Bengaluru FC rode on Miku’s hat-trick as they staged a remarkable comeback to beat Mohun Bagan 4-2 and book a summit clash berth in the inaugural Super Cup football tournament here today.

Down by a goal at the interval and reduced to 10 men after Nishu Kumar was sent off in the 50th minute, Bengaluru fought back to emerge triumphant in the semifinal match at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar.

Miku scored a hat-trick to turn things around while captain Sunil Chhetri came up with a sublime strike to take the game away from Mohun Bagan. All of that happened after Dipanda Dicka had put Bagan in the lead in the 42nd minute. Dicka did manage to reduce the margin in added time (90+2) scoring another, but it was a bit too late.

Bengaluru FC now face East Bengal in the final slated to be played on April 20. Mohun Bagan coach Shankarlal Chakraborty placed confidence in the same starting eleven which beat Shillong Lajong in the quarter-finals and went for a 4-4-2 formation.

Experienced defender Kinshuk Debnath started, with Australian Cameron Watson playing the role of the defensive midfielder and Nikhil Kadam and S K Faiaz manning the wings. The two men upfront were Lebanon’s Akram Moghrabi and the in-form Cameroonian striker Dipanda Dicka.

On the other hand, Alberto Roca started with a 4-3-3, with India captain Chhetri leading a three-man forward line consisting of Venezuelan Miku and national team colleague Udanta Singh.

The first chance of the game fell to Nikhil Kadam in the 7th minute but he muffed up a left-footer – shooting wide with just goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to beat.

Minutes later, Bengaluru found their first scoring opportunity but Boithang Haokip shot at the side-netting from close.

In the 42nd minute, Mohun Bagan’s dependable Dipanda Dicka gave the Kolkata side the lead. Akhram latched onto a Nikhil Kadam header over Harmanjot Khabra on the left of the Bengaluru box. He put in a left-footed grounder across which went past two Bengaluru defenders and Gurpreet to find Dicka, who tapped in with his left foot.

Bengaluru ended the half with two bookings as well. Chhetri had earlier been booked for a challenge in the 38th minute and just before the half-time whistle, Khabra was also booked for a rough tackle.

At the start of the second half, Bengaluru brought in Spaniard Antonio Toni Rodriguez for Khabra and started as the more positive side. In the very first minute, Haokip hit straight to Bagan custodian Shilton Paul from close.

Bengaluru suffered a jolt in the 50th minute when a long clearance found Nikhil Kadam in the clear inside the Bengaluru half with only Gurpreet to beat. But his run was halted by Nishu Kumar who fouled him from behind and was promptly red-carded.

The loss of Nishu did not have any impact on Bengaluru as Miku got the equaliser in the 62nd minute. He then went on to complete his hat-trick to seal the game for Bengaluru.

The first was a clinical finish off an Udanta cut-in from the right. The second in the 65th minute was an intelligent quickly taken free-kick, initiated outside the Bagan box by Miku himself and cheekily supported by Toni, which also saw a cool finish from the Venezuelan.

The third was off a penalty in the 89th minute when Rana Gharami brought Udanta down inside the box.

Chhetri completed Bengaluru’s goal tally in the 90th minute when he followed Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s long-kick, cut past his marker and pulled up a delightful curler from outside the top-right corner of the Mohun Bagan box which beat a diving Shilton Paul.

Dicka did get one back in added time but it was too late by then.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.

Play


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.