The Nigerian scored the only goal of the game in 78th minute.
The first semi-final of the Hero Super Cup between Hero I-League side Kingfisher East Bengal and Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) outfit FC Goa ended with the Kolkata giants running out 1-0 winners at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium. Nigerian striker Dudu Omegbemi scored the only goal of the game in the second half. East Bengal now await the winners of the second semi-final between city arch-rivals Mohun Bagan and JSW Bengaluru FC on Tuesday.
The Kolkata side’s coach Khalid Jamil went in with a 4-5-1 combination with Dudu the lone striker upfront and Ugandan Khalid Aucho getting his first start in midfield. FC Goa’s coach Derick Pereira, fielded a 4-4-2 with Manvir Singh partnering Spaniard Ferran Corominas (Coro) in attack.
It was a scrappy first-half which ended goalless. East Bengal had the better chances with Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna missing the first real chance of the half in the 19th minute, when he failed to tap in a cross from inside the box by teammate and Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa. Then Dudu broke free from an Al Amna flicked header a minute later but with just the Goa keeper Kattimani to beat hit straight at him. Katsumi Yusa then missed two gilt-edged chances between the 33rd and 35th minutes and Goa got their best chance through Coro in added time, when his solo run found him in-front of East Bengal goalie Ubaid, but he could not convert.
The half was highlighted by as many as four bookings , equally shared by both sides. Seriton and Edu Bedia went into referee Santhosh Bhaskaran’s book for Goa while Cavin Lobo and Gurwinder received yellow cards for East Bengal.
East Bengal continued to press hard for a goal in the second half and Dudu and Katsumi again missed at least three golden opportunities to score between them, the Nigerian being the more profligate. The deadlock was finally broken in the 78th minute when another quality cross from the left flank by Katsumi, found Dudu who tapped in past Kattimani.
While Samad Ali Mallik became the third East Bengal player to be booked, FC Goa captain Eduardo Bedia picked up his second yellow of the game for a rash lunge at substitute Kromah who had come in for Dudu and Goa had to finish the game with 10-men on the field.