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Monday, June 24, 2024

East Bengal win spine-chiller to take home Kalinga Super Cup


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Bhubaneshwar: Cleiton Silva popped up with a late winner as East Bengal FC beat Odisha FC 3-2 in a thrilling Kalinga Super Cup final at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday night.

Diego Mauricio (39’) opened the scoring before Nandhakumar Sekar (51’) levelled the scores. East Bengal FC then took the lead with a penalty from Saul Crespo (62’) before Ahmed Jahouh (90+8’) restored parity from the spot for Odisha FC who found themselves down to 10 men in the 69th minute.

However, East Bengal FC ultimately became the champions of the Kalinga Super Cup thanks to a decisive goal by captain Silva in the 111th minute during the second half of extra time.

In the 6th minute, the initial chance of the match materialised as Amey Ranawade executed a low, driven cross from the right flank, yet East Bengal FC keeper Prabhsukhan Gill gathered it composedly.

Moving on to the 12th minute, Roy Krishna executed a run down the right, transitioned to his left, and unleashed a shot from beyond the box. Nevertheless, the ball narrowly missed its mark.

In the 15th minute, another opportunity emerged for the Kalinga Warriors as Odisha launched an attack against the run of play. Roy Krishna sprinted from his half to the opponent’s territory, threading a pass through to Cy Goddard. Goddard, in turn, crossed the ball to Mauricio, whose shot narrowly missed the net.

In the 24th minute, Goddard skillfully dodged two East Bengal FC players and made a cross which was cleared.

In the 32nd minute, Isak Ralte made a fantastic save from a long-range free-kick, and Lalthuammawia Mawia fisted away Jose Pardo’s powerful shot from the set-piece routine.

In the 39th minute of the game, the Kalinga Warriors got on the scoresheet as Jahouh’s free-kick found its way to Krishna’s feet. He then set it up for Mauricio, who seized the opportunity to slot it home.

Six minutes into the second half, East Bengal FC equalised. In the 51st minute, Naorem Mahesh slipped a pass, and Nandhakumar Sekar eluded the keeper before placing the ball into the back of the net.

In the 62nd minute, EBFC took the lead Crespo successfully converted a penalty kick, earned after Borja Herrera went down in the box.

In the 69th minute, Odisha FC went down to 10 men as Mourtada Fall received his second yellow card of the night for foul on Herrera in an aerial duel.

In the 80th minute, Amey Ranawade nearly equalised for Odisha after a defensive mix-up, but his shot hit the woodwork.

Soon after, Ralte attempted a shot, but it missed the target by a considerable margin, with his shot sailing wide.

In injury time, Mauricio was put through on goal before being brought down by Gill in the box. Jahouh took charge of the penalty, executing a panenka to level the score at the Kalinga Stadium. The match was back on even terms at the brink of full-time.

In the first half of extra time, both teams had chances, but couldn’t score, leaving the match at 2-2.

In the 104th minute, Mahesh’s delivery to Hijazi Maher was caught by Odisha FC goalkeeper Mawia, and in the 105th minute, Mauricio’s shot was saved by Gill, keeping the score level.

In the second half of the extra time, in the 111th minute of the second half of extra time, EBFC seized the lead. Silva pounced on an error by Narender Gahlot and found the far right bottom corner to give East Bengal FC a crucial lead.

Carles Cuadrat’s side defended resolutely, denying Odisha FC any sniff before the final whistle was blown.

East Bengal FC emerged victorious, clinching the title in thrilling fashion and ending their 12-year long wait for a title.

Best Goalkeeper was awarded to Lalthuammawia Ralte (Odisha FC) and cheque of Rs 2,50,000 was presented by Richard Allen (Talent ID Expert, FIFA).

Best Defender was awarded to Hijazi Maher (East Bengal FC) and a cheque of Rs 2,50,000 was presented by a R. Vineel Krishna (IAS, Commissioner- cum- Secretary Sports, Govt. of Odisha).

Best Midfielder was awarded to Ahmed Jahouh (Odisha FC) and a cheque of Rs 2,50,00 was presented by Kipa Ajay (Treasurer, AIFF).

Highest Goalscorer was awarded to Cleiton Silva (East Bengal FC) and a cheque of Rs 2,50,000 was presented by Anu Garg (IAS, Development Commissioner- cum- Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Odisha)

Kalinga player of the tournament was awarded to Isak Vanlalruatfela (Odisha FC) and a cheque of Rs 2,50,000 was presented by Satyanarayan M (Acting Secretary General, AIFF).

Runners up- Odisha FC – cheque of Rs 15,00,000 was presented by Pradeep Kumar Jena (IAS, Chief Secretary, Govt. of Odisha).

Champions – East Bengal FC- cheque of Rs 25,00,000 was presented by V K Pandian (Chairman, ST and Nabin Odisha).

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