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A class apart: Bengaluru FC win more than just silverware after Super Cup triumph

Vrinda Chopra
ANALYST
Feature
922   //    Timeless

Beng
2018 Indian Super Cup Champions - Bengaluru FC

Ahead of the final of the inaugural Hero Indian Super Cup this year, East Bengaal technical director Subhash Bhowmick had much criticism about Bengaluru FC’s Venezuelan goal-scoring machine Miku.

Bhowmick blatantly expressed his thoughts on Miku prior to the kick off of the big finale between Bengaluru FC and East Bengal.

However, not only did Miku answer his critics in style, scoring a second half blinder, but he also helped his side to a thumping 4-1 victory over the Kolkata giants in the final.

Critics hushed

There are some players who feed off criticism and hate, and use the jeering to their advantage to strive and do better, and then there are some who succumb to it and give in. Nicolás Ladislao Fedor Flores, (better known as Miku) is one man who can quite easily be bracketed among the former.

Ahead of BFC’s clash against the Red and Golds, the Kolkata team’s technical director, Subhash Bhowmick made claims regarding how easy a job it would be to contain Miku as he is no (FC Goa’s) Ferran Corominas (aka Coro).

Bhowmick said, “Miku is definitely a very good player but I think FC Goa's (Ferran) Corominas was more dangerous than Miku. So if we can stop Coro, we will be able to stop Miku in the final.”

After knocking FC Goa out of the competition, East Bengal became the first team to have made it into the finale of the Super Cup. Soon after, Bengaluru FC joined EB in the finale, as they stomped past Mohun Bagan with an emphatic score line of 4-2, during the semi-final stages of the tournament – courtesy a hattrick from Miku, and a sensational strike from Chhetri.

Cometh the finale…

Bengaluru FC were up against a roaring East Bengal during the decider of the tournament. However, they still went in as favourites to win the Super Cup. As the finale action unfolded at the Kalinga, the West Block Blues were silenced after an athletic strike from Kromah went past Sandhu, the BFC goalkeeper.

On the brink of the 45-minute mark, however, it was game on as Rahul Bheke brought his team right back into the game thanks to his equalising header. The match saw some controversial decisions from the referee that had the fans unhappy, a red card, a banger of a goal from (no surprises here) Miku, and two from captain fantastic Sunil Chhetri.

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As the final whistle was blown, the Southern Eagles had done it, they had sealed the deal. Albert Roca’s men had finally bagged themselves a silverware this year, following the disappointment in the Indian Super League (ISL) final against Chennaiyin – where even though they were leading by eight points on the table, they lost out to the Abhishek Bachchan co-owned team at the final stage of the league.

BF
Bengaluru FC give East Bengal a guard of honour

The post-match scenes at the Kalinga Stadium were surreal. The atmosphere was absolutely buzzing when the fans saw something magnificent from Bengaluru FC. While in a normal state of affairs, the losing team is supposed to line up and give the winners a guard of honour, the stands of the stadium in Odisha watched Chhetri & Co. line up and applaud the efforts and the fight that East Bengal put up during the match. This was a display of quality sportsmanship and showed spirit and character from the Blues. It is not about winning, it is about how you win.

The post-match address

A smiling and content Albert Roca had nothing but appreciation and respect for the runners-up after the first ever Super Cup final. While he repeatedly spoke about how proud he was with all his players, he also felt for his opponents, and congratulated them on their efforts.

When asked about his team’s top gesture of the guard of honour, the Spaniard said, “It (the guard of honour) was quite normal. East Bengal had a good game, and they deserved to be in the final of the Super Cup.

“While the supporters of East Bengal are a little sad, they must be proud of their team as they never gave up and that is what is very important in a sport – especially in the conditions they were playing in, with 10 guys on the field,” the coach added.

Roca said, “It was surely not easy for East Bengal, and they proved they have high quality as they were here in the final with the way they played in the entire tournament.”

Class apart


Miku wi
Miku with his trophies

The comments from Bengaluru FC’s head coach shows the mentality that sets them apart from the rest of the pack. While East Bengal’s Subhash Bhowmick had nothing but a jab at Miku to offer ahead of the big game, the BFC manager was full of appreciation for Khalid Jamil’s team.

On the other hand, Miku made Bhowmick’s claims null and void after he scored a beauty during the high-pressure final, and emerged as the ‘Hero of the tournament’. His performances on the field and the trophies he won did the talking for the striker and shut all his critics up.

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Vrinda Chopra
ANALYST
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