Bengaluru FC rallied from behind once again to beat East Bengal in the final of the inaugural Hero Super Cup in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.
Two late goals by Sunil Chhetri and one by Miku ensured that Bengaluru FC won comfortably 4-1 after trailing in the first half. Chhetri earned the 'Hero of the Match' award for his performance.
After the game, Chhetri said, “Very happy. Very satisfied. We’ve had a great season, and to win a tournament at the end, it feels very good. So proud of the whole team, right from the boys (players), to our head-coach, the owners and the lovely fans who have come.”
In the first half, the game was played at a fast pace as both teams looked to close down the opposition in midfield and play attacking football, but it also had its fair share of controversy. The first incident came in the 7th minute when Gurpreet Singh made contact with East Bengal striker Ansumana Kromah just outside the penalty box which only resulted in a yellow card, much to the dismay of the East Bengal fans.
East Bengal did take the lead through Kromah in the 27th minute as Gurpreet’s bad clearance resulted in Kromah executing an acrobatic overhead kick to put East Bengal in front. Bengaluru equalised in the 39th minute through a fantastic header by Rahul Bheke who was playing against his former employers. The right-back’s celebrations were muted after the goal.
However, the turning point of the match came at the stroke of half-time as Samad Mallick was seen hitting Subhashish in the face just in front of the referee and was sent-off.
From then on, Bengaluru FC dominated the game. The pressure finally came to breaking point as Gurwinder Singh was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box thus earning Bengaluru FC a penalty. Skipper Sunil Chhetri made no mistake, putting his team 2-1 up in the 68th minute. Miku then made it 3-1 after a sublime top corner finish from the edge of the box. Chhetri then bagged his second of the match after heading in a nice cross from Rahul Bheke in the final minute of regulation time to put the game well beyond doubt.
After the game, the head coach of Bengaluru FC Albert Roca, who was visibly happy said, “This win is for them (the fans). We are playing for our supporters, our club and i’m so glad to help win that trophy that my players have deserved. After recent disappointment, it was not easy to play this tournament but, as i said, very proud of all my players, with all my staff, with all the people that are around because they have proved that we have perhaps been the best team in India.”