Bengaluru win maiden Fed Cup crown
Bengaluru FC lifted their maiden Federation Cup football tournament title when they edged past 10-man Dempo FC 2-1 in the summit clash on Sunday. Sunil Chhetri (10th minute) and substitute Robin Singh (65th) scored for the winners while Tolgay Ozbey (45+4) pulled one back for the home team at Nehru Stadium at Fatorda.
This was the second major title for Bengaluru FC in their two years of existence. They have won the I-League last season. For Dempo FC, who won the title in 2004, they finished runners-up for the fifth time.
Both teams came into this match with unbeaten records and there was not much to separate between the two teams till the hour mark.
But the complexion of the game changed after Bengaluru FC took the lead, which turned out to be the match-winner, in the 65th minute and then Dempo were reduced to 10 men three minutes later as defender Rowilson Rodrigues was shown a direct red card for a dangerous foul on Thoi Singh.
The match started at a slow pace but Bengaluru FC took the early lead as they earned a penalty after Dempo defender Haroon Fakhruddin pushed Eugenseson Lyngdoh down inside the box and Chhetri did not make any mistake from the spot, beating keeper Laxmikant Kattimani to his right to score his sixth goal of the tournament. Dempo’s persistent attack finally paid off as they earned a penalty in the stoppage time of first half and Tolgay Ozbey blasted the ball to the right of keeper Lalthuammawia Ralte. Bengaluru started better in the second session and enjoyed better ball possession and took the lead in the 65th minute when a move on the right saw Thoi Singh send a measured cross for substitute Robin Singh to nod home a powerful header past a diving Laxmikant