By Rajarshi Chakrabarty
Bengaluru FC showed mettle and class as they came from a goal down and reduced to 10-men to beat Mohun Bagan 4-2 in the Hero Super Cup semi-final.
Both teams came out attacking in the opening stages as Nikhil Kadam found himself in space inside the box in the 7th minute but could not set himself up for the shot and skied the ball away from the target.
Boithang had an opportunity on the other end moments later as the match swayed end to end but ended up missing the target narrowly.
As the match progressed the Bengaluru FC trio of Udanta, Miku and Chhetri started to combine well in the attacking third as Mohun Bagan were forced to defend deep into their box.
Udanta had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring when he beautifully turned around his marker inside the box but could not find the target in the 18th minute as Mohun Bagan were on the ropes.
But it was Mohun Bagan who opened the scoring in the 42nd minute as Dipanda Dicka netted in from close range from Akram Moghrabi’s assist to give Bagan a 1-0 lead going into the halftime interval.
Back in the second half, Bengaluru FC suffered a major setback being down to 10-man as Nishu Kumar was red carded for a reckless tackle on Nikhil Kadam in an empty space and was given the marching order for being the last defender.
10-man Bengaluru was not cowed down by the setback as they took the attack to Mohun Bagan as Miku showed his class from the 62nd minute onward as he secured the equalizer with a powerful strike inside the box to beat Shilton to make it 1-1.
The second goal came in the 65th minute as Mohun Bagan were caught napping from a quickly taken free kick by Bengaluru FC as Miku slammed in past Shilton Paul to script a remarkable turnaround for Bengaluru FC to make it 2-1.
Miku completed his hattrick in the 89th minute with a perfect penalty to make it 3-1 as Bengaluru FC clearly looked the dominant side in front of a hapless looking Mohun Bagan.
The magic moment of the game came in the 90th minute as Sunil Chhetri produced a stellar goal cutting back inside the box to lose his marker and buried his right-footed curler from 18 yards out past a diving Shilton Paul to put the game to bed with a 4-1margin.
Dicka managed to pull back another goal, his second of the night to make it 4-2 but it was too late as Bengaluru FC walloped to a fantastic 4-2 to make it to the final where they face a resurging Eat Bengal side.