Bengaluru clinches Super Cup with strong attacking display

Bengaluru FC reacted strongly to East Bengal FC taking the lead and then, in the second half, made the most of a man advantage to go on to win the cup.

Sunil Chhetri in action during the Super Cup final against East Bengal FC.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

A moment of madness from Samad Ali Mallick proved costly for East Bengal as Bengaluru FC romped to a 4-1 win to clinch the inaugural Super Cup here on Friday.

With the match poised at 1-1 at the Kalinga Stadium, the young defender’s red card allowed the Blues to seal the game through goals from Sunil Chhetri and Miku in the second half.

As it happened

However, it could have spelled danger for Gurpreet Singh and Bengaluru as early as the seventh minute. The goalkeeper appeared to bring down an onrushing Ansumana Kromah, with the goal gaping, but, the referee didn’t deem it as a last-man challenge.

Set-pieces were in focus as both teams opened their scoring from corner kicks in the opening half.

Right before the cooling period, Katsumi Yusa crossed it into a crowded area, to which, Gurpreet could only get his hand to. Kromah reacted quicker to the loose ball to kick the ball into the net over his head.

Nevertheless, it was all Bengaluru from there on. In the 39th minute, Bheke outwrestled Kromah to thump in a powerful header from a Victor Perez delivery.

The Blues’ persistent pressure almost got them a second, before the end of the half. Miku played Perez through on goal on the right. The midfielder dwelled on the ball before taking a shot, which allowed Ubaid C. K. to close down the angle.

However, it was Ubaid’s failed clearance which led to the Red and Golds going a man down. Ali Mallick lost his bearings when he struck Subhasish Bose across his face in the added time of the first half. The referee saw no option but to send him off.   

After the break, Khalid Jamil got on a central defender in place of skipper Cavin Lobo to pull off a rearguard effort. And, it worked for a little over 20 minutes before BFC had its first shot on target.

From the resulting corner, the Blues were awarded a penalty after Gurwinder Singh handled a cross inside the box. Sunil Chhetri stepped up to bury it past the goalkeeper.

In the 71st minute, East Bengal defenders offered Miku too much time inside the box as he received the ball, before turning inside to curl it into the top corner for the third. The strike prompted celebrations in the BFC camp.

Bengaluru managed to see out the game from there, before Chhetri crowned the win with a header in the dying minutes.

The result: East Bengal 1 (Ansumana Kromah 28’) Bengaluru FC 3 (Rahul Bheke 39’, Sunil Chhetri (Pen) 69’ 90’, Miku 71’)