Super Cup: Chennai City FC trounces Bengaluru FC 2-1

Chennai City FC produced a spirited performance to beat defending champion Bengaluru FC 2-1 and advance to the semifinal of the Hero Super Cup 2019.

Chennai City FC players celebrate during their 2-1 win over Bengaluru FC in the Hero Super Cup 2019 at Bhubaneshwar's Kalinga Stadium on Thursday.   -  Twitter @IndianFootball

Chennai City dumped defending champion Bengaluru FC 2-1 in the quarterfinal of the Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. Chennai City custodian Mauro Boerchio played out his skin to keep out a barrage of shots from the opposition to pull his team into the semifinals.

Chennai City’s Spanish attackers, Nestor Gordillo and Pedro Manzi, delivered the killer blow in either half as the I-League champion hung on to claim a sensational victory over the Indian Super League winner.

Chennai's first goal came off a mistake at the back in the 15th minute. Tarif Akhand played a simple ball over the top which Harmanjot Khabra and Rahul Bheke made a complete hash of it. Nestor picked up the loose ball and after two touches, struck it between Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's legs.

RELATED| BFC vs CCFC - As it happened

After the goal, Chennai City was content playing on the break with Nestor stationed on the left flank, looking to break Bengaluru’s offside trap. Bengaluru, expectantly, dominated the midfield area with Dimas Delgado, Xisco Hernandez and Alex Barrera. Xisco, who was playing behind Miku, was fed through on goal with a delicate lob over Chennai City’s defence but he couldn’t keep his shot on target with his weaker foot.

Miku had a go himself in the 25th minute after Edwin Sydney Vanspaul inadvertently set up the Venezuelan with a header. Miku volleyed in a thunderous effort from over 30 yards out that looked to be heading into the top left corner but for Boerchio’s outstretched left hand.

Bengaluru also took the direct route through Udanta Singh, who got the better of youngster Ajith Kumar on the right channel, but his zipped in crosses had no takers in the middle.  

At the restart, Bengaluru nearly had the opportunity to equalise. Regin’s squared pass to Edwin was cut out by Chhetri, who immediately played it across goal to Miku, but the move failed to materialise.

Chhetri won a penalty in the 51st minute after he went down inside the area after the slightest of touches from substitute Romario. The BFC skipper stuttered in his run-up to the spot expecting Boerchio to make his move, but he stood still before diving to his right to make a terrific save.

The save proved to be a catalyst for Chennai City to hit back again and it did through its captain Manzi a couple of minutes later. In a quick break, Nestor found Manzi through the middle, who cut inside Bheke before unleashing a curling strike past Gurpreet. It was almost a carbon copy of his goal against FC Pune City. BFC manager Carles Cuadrat stood motionless on the sidelines, stunned by how easy Manzi made that look.

RELATED | Cuadrat: Bengaluru FC the superior side in Super Cup defeat

In 21 matches in the ISL, after going a goal behind in six matches, Bengaluru won just once. After the second goal, it seemed like the stat wouldn’t favour the side yet again, but the Blues refused to give in. Chhetri wouldn’t give up his Super Cup crown without a fight. Bengaluru amped up the pressure further and finally managed to break Boerchio’s goal. Chhetri arrowed his header low into the corner of the goal from Dimas’ out-swinging corner from the right side. This time the 'keeper had no answer.

Boerchio, however, wouldn’t be beaten again. Dimas had a go from a header inside the box but the Italian sprung high to tap the ball behind. Chhetri struck a first-time shot low to the same region he got his goal from but Boerchio quickly moved across the turf to have it covered.

It was hands-on heads for Chhetri and Bengaluru as Boerchio stood firm to defy them and keep his side in the hunt for a second title of the season.

  Dugout videos