Bengaluru FC beat Mohun Bagan to enter Super Cup final

Bhubaneswar, April 17 (IANS) Bengaluru FC (BFC) rode a hat-trick by Nicolas Fedor to beat Mohun Bagan 4-2 in their Super Cup semi-final at the Kalinga Stadium here on Tuesday.

Fedor (63rd, 65th, 88th minutes) struck thrice late in the second half before BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri (90th) scored in the last minute of regulation time.

Aser Dipanda Dicka (42nd, 90+2) scored twice for Mohun Bagan.

Before Fedor found his scoring touch, BFC were in a spot of bother.

Dicka had put the Kolkata giants ahead in the closing minutes of the first half after Akram Moghrabi picked him out inside the BFC penalty box with an excellent ball from the left.

To make matters worse for the Indian Super League (ISL) runners-up, their defender Nishu Kumar was shown the red card after a horrendous tackle on Mohun Bagan’s Nikhil Kadam.

Kadam had latched on to a clearance from the Mohun Bagan defence and was about to burst into the BFC penalty box after out running Nishu, who was the last defender. The BFC defender however, caught hold of Kadam’s arm and pulled him down, leaving the referee with no option but to give him his marching orders.

Despite being down to 10 men, BFC continued to put pressure on the Mohun Bagan defence, as they had done for most of the game.

The former I-League champions from Kolkata, however, could not exploit their numerical advantage.

They played mostly on the counter, looking to absorb the repeated BFC attacks by sitting back on defence and hitting back with long balls into their opponents’ half.

Although the defence and midfield did well to deny time and space to the BFC players for most of the game, Fedor finally made Mohun Bagan pay when he exploited some poor marking to score with a superb finish from a difficult angle.

The Mohun Bagan defenders were caught unawares a couple of minutes later when a quick free-kick found Fedor through on goal and the Venezuelan punished them with an easy finish.

BFC were awarded a penalty in the closing minutes of regulation period when a mistimed tackle by Mohun Bagan substitute Rana Gharami brought down Udanta SIngh inside the box. Fedor stepped forward to convert the resultant penalty and complete his hat-trick.

Chhetri then scored BFC’s fourth goal with a well-placed finish to put the issue out of Mohun Bagan’s reach.

Dicka then utilised some loose defending by BFC to score a consolation goal for Mohun Bagan late into second half injury time.

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