Indian Super Cup 2018: Albert Roca lauds his side's character and talent as ten-man BFC drowns Bagan's hopes in semifinals
What's the story
Bengaluru FC ended Mohun Bagan's hopes of reaching the Super Cup Final when Miku scored a second-half hattrick to enable the Blues to prevail in the Kalinga Stadium. Earlier, BFC's Nishu Kumar was shown the red card in the 50th minute with Albert Roca's side trailing 0-1.
In case you didn't know
Bengaluru Football Club took on Mohun Bagan in the second semifinal of the inaugural Hero Super Cup yesterday. BFC who had lost to Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League final are looking to appease their fans with a win in the Super Cup. East Bengal were the first to qualify for the final beating FC Goa.
The heart of the matter
Bagan's fans braved the scorching heat of Bhubaneswar to cheer their team on with a view to set up a summit clash with traditional rivals East Bengal. The mouth-watering prospect of a Kolkata derby at the Kalinga Stadium was boosted by Dipanda Dicka who put Bagan ahead just before the breather and Sankar Lal Chakraborty's side went into half-time with a 1-0 lead.
Albert Roca's side had the quality to come from behind with a goal down, but had not perhaps reckoned to do so with a man down as well. Nishu Kumar was sent off the pitch and Sunil Chettri and his men had no option but to battle it out in less than optimal conditions with the mercury touching 40 degrees.
Venezuelan striker Nicolás Ladislao Fedor Flores (Miku) found the net thrice to power his side into the Super Cup final. Sunil Chettri followed this up with a peach of a goal from the edge of the penalty-box and BFC won 4-2.
As coach Roca pointed out after the match when a team thinks that everything is gone, and they have nothing have nothing to lose, all they can do is advance, and BFC advanced with quality. "You have to show character and talent, and a mix of these things gave us victory today."
BFC were the table toppers in the Indian Super League, but failed to win the title and will look for redemption when they face East Bengal in the final on Friday with an eye on winning the Super Cup and ending the Indian season on a high.
BFC have had a season to cherish with the exception of a title triumph which they richly deserve. Their sensational win under trying conditions and with a man less will give them the perfect edge over East Bengal who struggled to overcome a depleted FC Goa in the first semifinal.