Indian Super-League (ISL) golden boot winner Diego Mauricio’s first-half brace helped Odisha FC clinch the Super Cup 2023 title after beating Bengaluru FC 2-1 in the final at the EMS Stadium in Manjeri.
This is Odisha FC’s first major title.
It was the third final of the season for Bengaluru. For Simon Grayson’s boys, it proved the second defeat in a final in as many months, after losing the ISL final to ATK Mohun Bagan on penalties.
Odisha’s formidable attack consisting of Diego Mauricio, Nandhakumar, Victor Rodriguez and Jerry Mawihmingthanga -- was expected to cause headaches to the formidable Bengaluru defence, and they did.
The first goal came more off a shocking piece of goalkeeping from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who was the player-of-the-match in the semifinal against Jamshedpur FC. He spilled the ball from a Mauricio freekick and watched in agony the ball going past the goal-line in the 23rd minute.
Mauricio doubled the lead for Odisha in the 37th minute. Stationed in the right place at the right time, he slotted the ball home off a fine header from Jerry, who was picked by a Victor Rodriguez cross.
Bengaluru began the second half with four changes. The Blues had to wait till the 85th minute to pull a goal back. Sivasakthi Naraynana was fouled inside the box by Aniket Jadhav, and the referee pointed towards the spot.
Sunil Chhetri’s converted from the spot to give his team some hope, but the night belonged to the Odisha coach Clifford Miranda and his boys, who held on to the slender one-goal lead.
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