High-five for Super BFC

Bengaluru FC scripted yet another chapter in their history with a fifth title in as many years as they beat East Bengal FC 4-1 to lift the Super Cup title at the Kalinga Stadium here on Friday.

Ansumnah Kromah (28th minute) had given East Bengal the lead, but goals from Rahul Bheke (39th), Sunil Chhetri (69th, 90th) and Miku (71st) gave the Blues a deserved victory.

Having dabbled with the shape the team takes through the tournament, Roca was boosted by the return of defenders Juanan and Bheke as he rolled out a 4-3-3 formation with Miku, Udanta and Chhetri starting up front.

The Blues survived early threats as when Kromah was sent free on a long ball in the eighth minute. Gurpreet Singh 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.

Having fallen back, the Blues picked themselves up and pushed up with vigour. Their persistence was rewarded when Bheke equalised with a thumping header from Victor Perez’s curling corner from the right in the 39th minute. Victor, who provided the assist, had a glorious chance himself to put Bengaluru in the lead minutes later when Miku sent him through with a perfect ball on the right. But the Spaniard’s chip over East Bengal custodian Ubaid CK floated agonisingly wide at the far post.

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.

With the man disadvantage, 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 quickfire double from the Blues just moments later turned the tie in their favour.

Firstly, 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 seal a fifth trophy for Bengaluru in as many years.

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