Bengaluru FC were once again the most dominant team in the Indian football community, as they fell short at the last hurdle of the Indian Super League but won the Super Cup to make it another season with a trophy.
The Super Cup win now makes it five trophies in five years for the JSW-owned club, a remarkable achievement considering the ever-changing dynamic of the Indian football scenario.
Even for a club used to winning trophies, their 2017-’18 season was an exceptional one, with Chennaiyin FC possibly the only one to get the better of the Bengaluru-based club, beating them twice, once in the league stage and in the ISL final.
Indian clubs by trophies in the last 5 seasons
|Bengaluru FC||I-League (2013-'14, 2015-'16), Federation Cup (2014-'15, 2016-'17), Super Cup (2017-'18)||I-League (2014-'15), Indian Super League (2017-'18)|
|Mohun Bagan||I-League (2014-'15), Federation Cup (2015-'16)||I-League (2015-'16, 2016-'17), Federation Cup (2016-'17)|
|Chennaiyin||Indian Super League (2015-'16, 2017-'18)|
|ATK||Indian Super League (2014-'15, 2016-'17)|
|Aizawl||I-League (2016-'17)||Federation Cup (2015-'16)|
|Minerva Punjab||I-League (2017-'18)|
|Churchill Brothers||Federation Cup (2013-'14)|
|East Bengal||I-League (2013-'14), Super Cup (2017-'18)|
|Kerala Blasters||Indian Super League (2014-'15, 2016-'17)|
|FC Goa||Indian Super League (2015-'16)|
|Sporting Goa||Federation Cup (2013-'14)|
|Dempo||Federation Cup (2014-'15)|
Dominant for large parts
They finished fourth in the I-League in Albert Roca’s first season in charge. When they crossed the divide to the Indian Super League, a draft which re-distributed some of their players could not stop their momentum as they dominated (yes, dominated) the league stage of the Indian Super League.
They stormed their way to the top of the table, winning 13 of their 18 games, more victories than the last three teams, Delhi Dynamos, ATK and NorthEast United managed between themselves.
The gulf? The teams with the next-highest number of wins, Chennaiyin, Pune City and Goa, all had nine, which meant that Bengaluru had 44% more victories than their nearest rivals. They won the league stage by eight points, managing 40 points, an average of 2.2 points per game.
The previous highest any team had ever managed in the ISL league stages was 25 by Goa in the 16-game season of 2015-’16, an average of 1.56 points. Not only did Bengaluru set new benchmarks, they might have made it tough for themselves to try and break these in the future.
Clubs with highest domestic win pct. (%)
|Club||Matches Played||Win percentage in %(doesn't include penalty shoot-outs)||Goals scored/game|
They managed to beat every team in the league stages at least once, doing the double over four of the nine teams. Their record of seven away victories out of nine is by some margin, the highest away win percentage in the history of the competition.
Not only did they display consistency, they also entertained while doing it, scoring 53 games in 25 across all domestic competitions. Only FC Goa, who scored 51 in 23 matches came close to matching BFC’s tally.
|Sunil Chhetri||Bengaluru FC||20|
|Ferran Corominas||FC Goa||20|
|Asier Dipanda Dicka||Mohun Bagan||17|
|Kalu Uche||Delhi Dynamos||14|
Super Cup easily done
They may have lost the ISL final, but they made sure to end the season with the Super Cup trophy. The Cup victory was a special one, as they came from a goal down on three occasions to win the game.
Against Gokulam, Henry Kisseka’s strike was cancelled out as they won 2-1, but the Mohun Bagan win was the astounding one as the Blues were reduced to 10 men while being a goal down.
They came back to score not one, not two, not three, but four goals as Bagan found 10-man Bengaluru too hot to handle. In the final, despite another early goal from East Bengal’s Ansumanah Kromah, BFC struck back four times to win the first-ever Super Cup.
As with Ashley Westwood before him, Roca has assembled a close-knit, well-oiled outfit, one which looks capable of winning matches from the unlikeliest of positions. The loss in the ISL final would have stung, but Roca and BFC will now hope to go all the way in the AFC Cup before trying to right the wrongs of the ISL season.