Bengaluru thrash 10-man East Bengal in Super Cup final
Bhubaneswar: Skipper Sunil Chhetri led from the front with a brace as Bengaluru FC thrashed 10-man East Bengal 4-1 to win the inaugural Super Cup football tournament here on Friday.
Chhetri scored off a penalty in the 69th minute before exploiting some poor marking by the East Bengal defence to head in his second in the 90th.
An accurate header by Rahul Bheke (40th) and a superb finish by Nicoals Fedor (71st) brought the other goals for Bengaluru. East Bengal striker Ansumana Kromah (28th) had earlier put the Kolkata giants in the lead with an excellent back volley. Bengaluru thus maintained their record of winning a trophy in each of the five seasons they have been in existence.
They have won five trophies during the brief period they have been in existence, which include two I-League titles and an equal number of Federation Cup crowns apart from the inaugural edition of the Super Cup.
Most of the first half of Friday's final was a tough, physical battle in which both teams were more or less equally matched.
East Bengal took the lead off a corner when a deflection found its way to Kromah who scored with an acrobatic back volley. Bheke found the equaliser for Bengaluru towards the end of the first half with an accurate header off a corner.
East Bengal were reduced to 10 men just before the break when their right-back Samad Mallik was sent off for a punch into the face of Bengaluru's Subhasish Bose after being at the end of a somewhat rash tackle. The second half saw more open football with Bengaluru creating the better chances.
Bengaluru goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu produced an excellent save in the 57th minute to keep out a well taken free-kick by Mehmood al-Amna. Bengaluru were awarded a penalty following a hand ball by East Bengal's Gurwinder Singh inside the penalty box. Chhetri stepped forward to punch in the spot kick and give Bengaluru the lead. Bengaluru increased the lead when Victor Pérez Alonso won the ball at the halfway line and played a one-two with Antonio Rodríguez Dovale before finding Fedor at the top of the East Bengal penalty box.
Fedor's half turn and stunning finish from just inside the penalty area bulged the net as East Bengal goalkeeper C K Ubaid was reduced to a mere spectator.