Diego Mauricio Brace Helps Juggernauts Pip Simon Grayson’s Men To The Summit With 2-1 Result In Kozhikode
Kozhikode: Bengaluru FC fell short at the final hurdle in the Super Cup as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Odisha FC at the EMS Stadium, in Kozhikode, on Tuesday. A late penalty from Sunil Chhetri (89’) went in vain, as Diego Mauricio’s brace (23’, 38’) helped Clifford Miranda’s side overcome the Blues in a nip-and-tuck encounter in Kozhikode.
Ahead of the game, Bengaluru Head Coach Simon Grayson made one change to the side which started the semifinal encounter against Jamshedpur FC, with Jayesh Rane, who scored the opener in Friday’s fixture replacing the injured Javi Hernandez. The visitors, meanwhile, went with an unchanged side from their semifinal against NorthEast United.
Odisha took the lead in the 23rd minute, when Diego Mauricio’s free-kick slipped through the grasp of Bengaluru ’keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and trickled over the line. The Blues pushed for an equalizer and very nearly found one just before the half hour mark when Jayesh Rane released Udanta Singh on the right. The winger’s cross, however, was whisked wide of the target by skipper Chhetri.
Mauricio doubled the Juggernauts’ lead in the 38th minute, against the run of play. Having slipped past his marker in the box, the Brazilian was at hand to poke home from close range after Jerry Mawihmingthanga nodded the ball down into a dangerous area. Clifford Miranda’s side took a two-goal cushion into the break, with the Blues having their task cut out for them in the second period.
Ahead of the restart, Grayson made a quadruple substitution, bringing on Prabir Das, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Sivasakthi and Pablo Perez in place of Udanta Singh, Rohit Kumar, Jayesh Rane and Namgyal Bhutia.
The changes helped Bengaluru push ahead in their quest to reduce the deficit. They came close to doing so, once again through Chhetri, when the skipper rose highest to get his head to a corner, but could only place his attempt wide off Amrinder Singh’s post.
The continued efforts of the Blues bore fruit when Sivasakthi was brought down by Aniket Jadhav in the box. Chhetri then stepped up and buried his penalty despite Amrinder diving the right way to pull a goal back for Bengaluru.
The Blues made one last push in the final minute as Sandesh Jhingan got his head to a cross from Suresh Wangjam, but the defender saw his effort go agonizingly wide, as Odisha hung on to emerge victorious on the night.