FULL-TIME: Bengaluru FC 1-2 Chennai City FC
Bengaluru FC: 65′ Sunil Chhetri
Chennai City FC: 15′ Nestor Gordillo; 54′ Pedro Manzi
A Super Cup final in its own right, the quarterfinal encounter between the I-League and Indian Super League champions ended in a win for Chennai City FC in a tightly contested battle at the Kalinga Stadium.
The game began with Chennai City FC playing with a high tempo and their approach to the game was very direct. They tried to hit the ball into runners behind the Bengaluru defence the instant they got the ball up to midfield. Bengaluru on the other hand were more patient in their build up play and most of their attacking threat came from the right through Udanta Singh.
It was Chennai City who broke the deadlock in the 15th minute. A long ball behind the Bengaluru defence from inside their own half was not dealt with by Rahul Bheke and Khabra. Nestor Gordillo pounced on the loose ball and slotted it past the Bengaluru keeper Gurpreet.
Trailing by a goal, the Blues piled on the pressure. Xisco fluffed a great chance from 12 yards out and Miku had a shot from distance saved spectacularly by Chennai City’s Italian custodian Mauro Boerchio. The teams would go into half-time with Chennai City a goal to the good.
While the first half saw the teams have more or less the same amount of chances – in the second half, Bengaluru had the bulk of chances as the running sum xG indicates.
The Blues were awarded a penalty after their captain Sunil Chhetri was brought down in the box in the 51st minute. The Italian Mauro Boerchio would pull off another great save to deny Chhetri the equaliser, although the ball was at a good height for the keeper to paw it away.
Bengaluru would severely regret the penalty miss when minutes later, the top goal scorer this season in the I-League Pedro Manzi curled a shot past the Bengaluru keeper. The forward picked up the ball just outside the box, side stepped to create a bit of space and the shot went into the far corner with Gurpreet well-beaten. The quality of the striker was on display here as the chance could best be termed as a half-chance.
You put him on the moon this season and Pedro Manzi will score from therePulasta Dhar, Commentator.
Bengaluru tried desperately to get back in the game and went hammer and tongs at Chennai City and managed to reduce the deficit to one in the 65th minute. A corner delivery by Dimas was met by an unmarked Sunil Chhetri who headed the ball into the net.
As the Blues continued to push (their collective xG was more than three times that of Chennai City), the all Indian back-line of Chennai City in the absence of Roberto Eslava held on.
The Chennai City custodian Mauro Boerchio who would be adjudged man of the match pulled off a catalogue of saves to deny Bengaluru the equaliser and ensured his team’s passage into the Super Cup semi-final.
Although Bengaluru had the better chances and deserved to go through on the balance of play tonight, Chennai City showed resilience befitting a champion side and their Spanish Armada of Nestor Gordillo, Sandro Rodriguez and Pedro Manzi had just that bit of quality in front of goal compared to Bengaluru FC. The I-League champions will now await the winner of FC Goa and Jamshedpur in the other quarterfinal. The semi-final will be played on Tuesday, 9th April.