Odisha wins their first silverware with a 2-1 win over Bengaluru in Super Cup 2023 Final

Odisha win their first-ever Super Cup 2023 trophy

Odisha won their first-ever silverware in their short history as they beat Bengaluru 2-1 at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode to clinch the 2023 Super Cup. Diego Mauricio struck a brace as Sunil Chhetri’s penalty went in vain.  

Helmed by Clifford Miranda, Odisha fielded themselves in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Amrinder Singh guarded the sticks while Sahil Panwar, Carlos Delgado, Osama Malik, and Narender Gehlot formed the back four. 

Princeton Rebello and Thoiba Singh played as the two defensive midfielders with the trio of Nandhakumar Sekar, Victor Rodriguez, and Jerry Mawihmingthanga playing as the attacking midfielders. Diego Mauricio played as the lone striker. 

Simon Grayson’s Bengaluru, on the other hand, took the field in a 4-3-3 formation. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu donned the gloves while Roshan Singh Naorem, Sandesh Jhingan, Bruno Ramires, and Namgyal Bhutia played as the back four. 

Suresh Wangjam, Jayesh Rane, and Rohit Kumar played as the three midfielders while Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, and Roy Krishna attacked from the front. 

The game started with heavy rainfall with the first chance falling to Bengaluru in the sixth minute. Krishna chipped the ball towards Rohit, whose volley was high above the crossbar. Odisha took the lead from a set-piece situation when Mauricio went for glory from a distance. Gurpreet flapped the ball and it bulged the net in the 23rd minute. 

Bengaluru nearly found themselves back in the game in the 29th minute when Udanta whipped in his cross from the right flank. However, Chhetri’s first-time shot was inches wide off the crossbar. Two minutes later, Mauricio got a header to aim for the goal but Jhingan’s pressure meant the final shot was off target. 

Diego Mauricio scored the brace in the final

In the 37th minute, Odisha finally doubled the lead with Mauricio completing his brace. Jerry’s header from inside the box off a cross resulted in the Brazilian having a tap-in from close range. Gurpreet was helpless on this occasion as Bengaluru defenders failed to mark him properly. 

Two minutes later, Mauricio’s cross from the edge of the box found Nandha at the far end but his first-time volley was thwarted away by Gurpreet. In the dying minutes of the first half, Mauricio released Jerry at the box and the latter’s shot hit the woodwork and went out of play.  

The half-time whistle sounded like music to Bengaluru who were completely on the back foot. However, two minutes after the restart, Mauricio’s low shot from the edge of the box disturbed Gurpreet once again. 

A free-kick at the edge of the box in the 51st minute saw Chhetri crossing the ball into the box with substitute Jovanovic towering above everyone else. However, he failed to keep his header downward and the ball sailed over the crossbar. 

Two minutes later, substitute Sivasakthi broke free in a counter-attack but Narender’s lunging tackle meant the attack fizzled away. In the 57th minute, Mauricio timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap. However, his final shot hit the side netting. 

Bengaluru upped their ante in the final thirty minutes of the game. Chhetri’s header off Prabir’s corner kick was inches wide in the 70th minute. In the 76th minute, Krishna laid off a pass towards Bruno at the box but his shot was blocked by a host of Odisha defenders. 

In the 83rd minute, substitute Aniket Jadhav brought down Sivasakthi and captain Chhetri stepped up to take the shot. Although Amrinder guessed it right, there was too much power in Chhetri’s shot as the ball trickled in. There was a handball shout in the 90th minute from the Bengaluru team but the referee waved away those protests. 

The full-time score read 2-1 in favor of Odisha, who will now set their eyes on the AFC Cup tournament. To lock horns with one of Asia’s best, they will need to defeat Gokulam Kerala in a playoff tie. The win also marked Clifford Miranda’s first-ever title as a coach.