CK Vineeth seals Federation Cup win for Blues in Extra time

federation

Super sub Vineeth’s late double strike in second half of extra time meant Blues pick up their second federation cup trophy

federation cup

In an enthralling final, Bengaluru FC came out victorious courtesy CK Vineeth’s brace, as Mariners lost the plot in the extra time to hand over a memorable victory at Cuttack for the southern eagles. A result, which seemed unlikely for blues after the below-par I-league season and the losing out captain Sunil Chhetri and midfielder Cameroon Watson due to injury and suspension respectively.

Blues started out in a 3-5-2 formation with Udanta Singh and Semilen Doungel up-top. Eugeneson partnered with Alwyn George and Lenny Rodrigues in the midfield after missing regular midfielder Cameron Watson on suspension for the tie. As for the Mariners, Sanjoy Sen started in a 4-4-2 shape with Katsumi Yusa leading the side from Kolkata. In-form Darryl Duffy and Balwant Singh started up-front while Indian international Jeje Lalpekhlua was placed on the bench.

The game began on a high pace with blues on the attack from the very start, Lyngdoh pass saw Udanta Singh from the left lobbing in a cross into the box as defender Pritam Kotal did well to clear away before any danger. An end to end affair ensued as both sides failed to make any breakthrough. However in the 20th minute, Blues almost registered the opening goal when Eugeneson’s corner saw Udanta taking a shot on volley in an acrobatic style as the ball went into the net; however the goal was rightly called offside as replay suggested the ball deflected off Len who was in an offside position much to the dismay of Albert Roca and co.

Also Read: HISTORIC WIN FOR INDIAN FOOTBALL AS INDIA U-17s PROVE ‘TWO’ GOOD FOR ITALY U-17s

federation cup

Minutes later Lenny found himself in space on the right as he cutback the ball inside the box, Udanta under pressure from defender managed a slight flick to the ball as the ball seemed to be rolling towards goals, Debjit managed a slight touch to send it out for corner as mariners seemed to live on the edge. At the other end, a Sony Norde corner was headed by Eduardo as the ball hit the bar. However the ball fell to Katsumi Yusa who sent the ball in to the box yet again, which was cleared out by an alert Sandesh Jhingan pulling off a goal-line clearance.

First half ended in a 0-0 score as blues looked a little better team despite having lesser possession but with better chances. Second half started on a quick pace just like the first half. In the 51st minute drama ensued when a Eugeneson’s corner towards far corner found an onrushing Johnson who sent the ball inside the box which was well steered off to the net by a leaping Juanan. However the goal was disallowed for offside as Albert Roca and co. were left in disbelief with replay clearly suggesting otherwise. Soon Mariners came back with an response as Balwant’s ripper from distance brought out a diving save from Amrinder.

Few minutes later, Udanta Singh got in a brilliant run as stormed into the opposition box seeing Debjit off his line, Udanta chipped the ball over the goalkeeper but the youngster was unlucky to see his excellent effort go just wide off target.  Soon, Udanta was seen trudging out on injury prompting an immediate introduction of CK Vineeth by Roca as replacement. The game slowed a bit as players grew tired of the hot and humid condition. A late charge from Norde saw mariners awarded a crucial corners in the injury time one of which brought out a save from Amrinder, however blues defences held on as the ninety minutes ended on a stalemate.

Also Read: ‘AFC Grassroots Day’ witnesses 60% increase in participation.

Extra time began in a similar fashion with the blues going out for an attack through Cornell Glen from the onset. The former mariner almost put his team in front when his effort from a tight angle came off the post before it was cleared to safety. Nearing the end of the first half of the extra time, Vineeth had a glorious chance to put his team in front when he found himself on the left unmarked however the Indian International hit his shot wide in to the side netting.

Second half began on familiar tone, in which Vineeth made amends to his earlier miss when he did well to skip past one defender before sending in his shot from edge of the box, the ball took a slight deflection off Anas before hitting into the net. In search for a desperate equaliser, Bagan sent in mariners forward, however it was Blue that scored again. Vineeth receiving the ball near the centre line stormed in to the Bagan defence before unleashing the killer blow past Debjit.

The match soon ended with blues rejoicing in the victory as for the fourth consecutive season, Bengaluru FC are bringing home a trophy, their second federation cup after the winning the 2015 edition. The win also ensured next year’s AFC Cup Spot for Blues while they look forward to the must win final group game of this year’s AFC Cup campaign to enter the Knockout stages.

Mohun Bagan 0 – 2 Bengaluru FC (CK Vineeth 107’, 115’)

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