The Blues came from behind to clinch a commanding win in the inaugural tournament’s showpiece.
It was a sweet case of redemption for Bengaluru FC, who put away their trauma of losing in a final when they came back to defeat East Bengal 4-1 and become champions of the inaugural Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium on Friday. After Ansumana Kromah had given East Bengal the lead early, Bengaluru rallied to score four goals against 10-man Red and Gold side, which included a brace from Sunil Chhetri and goals from Miku and Rahul Bheke.
It was a rather heated battle between these two teams, but Bengaluru prevailed at the expense of the Kolkata side who paid the price for some very poor defending in the end. This result means that Bengaluru has now won a trophy in each of their last five seasons and have re-asserted themselves as the top dog in Indian Football.
Let’s take a look at how the players did last afternoon.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu- 4/10
It was Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s second final with Bengaluru FC and one in which the team elevated their performance but he couldn’t. Gurpreet had a rare shocker in between the posts for Bengaluru and almost got sent off in the fourth minute when he clumsily came out of the box and took out Kromah, only for the referee to give him a yellow card.
Rahul Bheke- 8/10
It didn’t feel like Rahul Bheke had come off after an injury layout against East Bengal because the right-back played amazingly well both defensively and going forward as well. Not only did Bheke completely nullify Katsumi Yusa in his flank, but he was always the one supporting Udanta Singh going forward. Bheke scored a terrific header to equalize before half-time and continued his impressive work in the second half.
John Johnson– 6.5/10
John Johnson has been a rock at the back for Bengaluru FC throughout the Super Cup, but he had a slow start to the final and got caught out in the early minutes by Kromah. This forced Gurpreet to come out of his box and make a needless challenge which almost got himself sent off. Johnson struggled with Kromah’s pace a bit in the first half, but gradually asserted his dominance and used his size and experience well.
Like Bheke, Juanan had also beaten the clock in order to make the final for BFC and brought a lot of assurance with his game even though like Johnson, he also had a little bit of a slow start himself. But he gave quite a composed performance throughout the 90 minutes where he kept East Bengal’s threatening midfielders from penetrating and also forced them to take long shots which barely tested them.
Subhashish Bose– 7/10
The full-backs were immense for Bengaluru FC in their Super Cup win and that’s for good reason, as they both prior experience with East Bengal. Subhashish Bose himself had a bit of extra to play for having played for Mohun Bagan last season and he was a menace for the Kolkata giants in the left-flank. His impressive movement made sure that Danmawia had to track back to contain him, as the left-back attacked through his flank impeccably.
Erik Paartalu– 6.5/10
Erik Paartalu found himself back in the center of midfield after having to play as center-back for most of the period against Mohun Bagan and he dictated play very nicely for his side. Paartalu played the role of an anchor to perfection and also allowed Bose to freely roam forward as he barely lost the ball and distributed play very nicely.
Lenny Rodrigues– 6.5/10
Lenny Rodrigues has quite a lot of experience of playing against East Bengal and was selected because of that. Rodrigues made some good forward runs to try and create something for his side but was mostly forced to play a more defensive role on the day because of how Bengal had stacked midfielders through the middle.
Victor Perez- 7/10
Victor Perez was shifted into the role of almost a left-winger against East Bengal but was also given a lot of freedom by Roca and used it to his advantage to terrorize East Bengal’s defence. Perez was terrific in picking out passes and making key movements towards Eat Bengal’s box, as he proved to be a really creative player because of his overall game-play.
Udanta Singh– 6.5/10
It felt like East Bengal players were ordered to tightly mark Udanta Singh in the finale knowing his potential. Although Singh found it a bit difficult to adapt to so many players around him at first, but slowly grew into the game momentarily. Udanta was rather ineffective in the first half but when he was given some freedom in the second half, he proved why he’s named “The Flash” of Indian Football.
Miku played a big role in Bengaluru’s demolition of Mohun Bagan as he scored a hattrick in the semi-final and continued that good form against East Bengal. He proved why he’s so valued by Bengaluru in the match where he initially didn’t even roam forward and instead played much deeper in an attempt to create chances for his side. He even created a few chances in the first half but hit the top gear in the second half.
Sunil Chhetri- 7.5/10
Whenever Bengaluru have needed a hero to inspire them, it’s always been captain fantastic Sunil Chhetri who has come forward and won them matches time and again. While Chhetri was also heavily marked by East Bengal, he showed signs of brilliance in the first half when he almost scored a goal in the early minutes. But he embodied Bengaluru’s never-say-die attitude in the second half when he persisted for the winner and scored twice.
Toni Dovale– 6.5/10
When Bengaluru needed that extra bit in attack, Albert Roca decided to bring on Toni Dovale who played a big part in their win over Mohun Bagan the other day. Dovale continued his impressive work as a super-sub and started creating chances right from the get-go, as he maintained absolute dominance in the midfield for them and showed great composure to pick out the right passes and terrorize East Bengal’s defenders.
Boithang Haokip– N/A
Young Boithang was brought on in the dying minutes of the half and could barely do anything.
Daniel Lalhlimpuia– N/A
Daniel was also given a run in the final minute of the game when he replaced Miku but saw the whistle being blown seconds after he came on.
Ubaid CK- 6.5/10
Ubaid CK was the little light in East Bengal’s awful defensive performance on the day as he proved why he’s so trusted by Khalid Jamil with a solid performance. Unlike Gurpreet, who was full of mistakes on the day, Ubaid was extremely convincing in goal for his side and did everything he could to make sure they didn’t concede. He pulled off some stunning saves in the first half but couldn’t do anything to stop the powerful header which equalized things.
Samad Ali Mallick– 3/10
Samad Ali Mallick has shown a tendency to make stupid decisions which cost his side in big games this season. The biggest mistake of him this season came against Bengaluru when he got himself sent off in the first half. Samad was actually doing a fine job up until that point as he contained Sunil Chhetri pretty well for most parts of the first half and looked solid defensively as well.
Eduardo Ferreira– 6.5/10
Eduardo Ferreira was seemingly the only man who kept a clear head in defending for East Bengal as he showed his experience by containing Bengaluru’s threat for much of the match. Eduardo was actually doing a great job in marking Miku in the first half which forced the Venezuelan to drop deep and create chances for his side. He put in some crunch tackles and made a terrific goal-saving tackle in the first half, denying Miku again.
Gurwinder Singh– 4/10
Gurwinder Singh played a big part in East Bengal keeping a clean-sheet against FC Goa and did well to contain the dangerous Coro on the day. However, it seemed the atmosphere of the final was too overwhelming for him. The former Kerala Blasters man was too aggressive and rash for his own good and made some terrible challenges and was shown the yellow card for it. He could’ve even been sent off for a horrible challenge on Udanta Singh in the first half and almost made his side concede because of his mistake.
Lalram Chullova– 5.5/10
Lalram Chullova was also quite impressive in the Super Cup for East Bengal and did well initially against Bengaluru FC. Chullova actually did pretty well to contain Udanta Singh in the first half and marked him impeccably, as well as attacking well as East Bengal almost created a few chances through the left-wing.
Khalid Aucho- 6.5/10
Khalid Aucho has actually been an impressive signing for East Bengal and proved how he could hold his own against big oppositions. Aucho seemed to relish the battle against the commendable midfield of Bengaluru and did really well to recover balls and creating some chances for his side as well.
Cavin Lobo– 6/10
Cavin Lobo seemed to be ready for the battle against Bengaluru FC as the East Bengal captain played with a composed head and was actually very clever in midfield. While Lobo didn’t really make any runs forward, his distribution was really good and he often picked out the right passes for his team. Lobo was also defensively pretty solid as he stopped many attacks through the middle and won the ball on many times for his team.
Mahmoud Al-Amna- 7/10
It’s not really a new thing for Mahmoud Al-Amna to be one of the best performers for East Bengal in a dismal day for the club as he puts in his 100% in every single match. Al Amna was given the big responsibility of playing as a box to box midfielder, but he looked intent on creating chances for East Bengal. Bengaluru was finding it difficult to contain him, as Amna created a few chances for his side and even took a few shots on goal which were saved.
Laldanmawia Ralte– 6/10
Laldanmawia Ralte has been the unsung hero for East Bengal on more than one occasion this season, but he couldn’t replicate his heroics against Bengaluru FC. Ralte did well in the first half to create a few chances for his side and took a few swipes at goal but missed. His movement was threatening but failed to deliver the final product which East Bengal craved for.
Katsumi Yusa– 5/10
Katsumi Yusa has been the spark in East Bengal’s attack throughout the season, but he failed to show up when it really mattered. Yusa was finding it difficult to go past the brilliant Rahul Bheke, who marked him well and made it difficult for him to play more freely. He tried to create a few chances for his side but was unable to deliver for his side.
Ansumana Kromah– 7/10
When Dudu was seemingly ruled out of the Super Cup final due to injury, fans were intrigued to see whether Khalid Jamil would trust Ansumana Kromah to lead his line-up. Jamil’s decision of doing so proved to be fortuitous for a point of time. Kromah looked really intent on making a mark for East Bengal and he made a charging run in the early minutes and was fouled by Gurpreet outside the box, but was unlucky to see him not being sent off.
Deepak Kumar- 5.5/10
Deepak Kumar came on in the second half, replacing Cavin Lobo and drafting into the left-back spot. But he did not seem ready for the occasion at all as he failed to keep up with the blistering pace of Udanta Singh. Kumar also failed to keep out many crosses and even piled on more pressure on his defence, making it even more difficult for them to shut out Bengaluru.
Jobby Justin- N/A
Jobby Justin was brought on with only a few minutes to play and even though he looked promising with the ball at times, he couldn’t do anything with the lack of service and failed to mount pressure on Bengaluru.
Dudu Omagbemi- N/A
The Big Nigerian couldn’t start the game but was brought on in the dying minutes and it looks like that cameo was his final appearance for the club.