Bengaluru FC won their fifth title in as many years as they beat East Bengal FC 4-1 to lift the Super Cup title at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, on Friday.
Ansumnah Kromah gave East Bengal the lead in the 28th minute to stun Bengaluru early on. However, they regained their composure and scored the equaliser in the 39th minute thanks to Rahul Bheke. The second half saw Bengaluru pump three goals into the opposition’s with captain Sunil Chhetri scoring a brace. Miku was the third scorer for Bengaluru.
Bengaluru were boosted by the return of defenders Juanan and Bheke as they rolled out a 4-3-3 as Miku, Udanta and Chhetri started up front.
The Blues survived early threats as when Kromah was sent free on a long ball in the eighth minute. Gurpreet rattled into Johnson trying to clear the ball which bounced awkwardly and with Kromah going down the referee booked the Bengaluru custodian.
Half chances were aplenty at either end, but it was East Bengal who broke the deadlock midway through the first half. Katsumi’s corner was palmed away by Gurpreet and as it bounced in the box, Kromah acrobatically hit the ball which looped into an empty goal, past the attempted clearance of Erik Paartalu.
Bheke equalized with a thumping header on Victor Perez’s curling corner in from the right in the 39th minute. The game took another twist with East Bengal being reduced to ten-men in first half injury time after defender Samad Mallick was sent off by referee Ramaswamy Srikrishna for an intentional slap on Subhasish Bose.
East Bengal began the second period cautiously and Roca brought in Toni Dovale to replace Paartalu looking to add more attacking impetus. After Miku’s efforts were blocked by the rival ‘keeper in the 67th minute, a quick fire double from the Blues just moments later turned the tie in their favour.
First it was Chhetri who put Bengaluru 2-1 up with a calm penalty kick conversion in the 69th minute after defender Gurwinder Singh handled Subhasish’s cross inside the box. Two minutes later it was Miku who smashed home Victor’s through ball from just inside the box after the latter combined with Dovale.
Chhetri sealed the game in the final minute of the second half with his second goal of the evening, heading home Bheke’s floated delivery in from the right to clinch a fifth trophy for Bengaluru in as many years.