How Bengaluru FC overcome a difficult journey to reach the Hero Super Cup final?

Nothing, however, has been able to derail Bengaluru FC winning streak. The football season begins with every team hoping to win as many trophies as possible. But as the obstacles mount, so must the goals. The Blues were one of the most consistent teams this season. They will take the pitch once more to compete for their second trophy of the season, the Hero Super Cup, after winning the Durand Cup earlier in the season.

After losing the Hero ISL final on penalties to ATK Mohun Bagan. The Blues focused on the Hero Super Cup and shown why they are the favourites to win the title. Simon Grayson’s team was grouped alongside Sreenidi Deccan FC, Kerala Blasters FC, and RoundGlass Punjab FC in Group A.

The group stage presented a difficult challenge. With two of the most in-form teams from the Hero I-League, the champions RoundGlass Punjab FC and runners-up Sreenidi Deccan FC. Looking to secure their qualification and Bengaluru FC’s southern rivals, Kerala Blasters FC, looking to avenge their defeat in the Hero ISL knockout match.

A shaky start

Bengaluru FC and Sreenidi Deccan FC, two clubs who fell one step short of claiming their respective crowns. Appeared set to open their Hero Super Cup with a victory, but the match panned out otherwise.

The Blues took the lead in the ninth minute, with Javier Hernandez scoring on a rebound after his original effort was stopped by Aryan Lamba in the Hero I-League participant’s goal. Sreenidi Deccan FC rallied quickly and equalised immediately after 12 minutes, thanks to a goal from Afghan international Faysal Shayesteh, whose drive deflected off Parag Shrivas and into the net.

Both teams piled on the pressure and looked for the winner, but they had to settle for a single point apiece in their Group A opener.

A crucial victory over RoundGlass Punjab FC

Bengaluru FC played the Hero I-League winners in the second encounter of Group A. And the fixture was essential after both clubs had failed to get off to the ideal start to their Hero Super Cup campaigns.

The game began with RoundGlass Punjab FC enjoying the most of possession. And banging on Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s doors. But they were unable to get their noses in front. In the 11th minute, Juan Mera Gonzales set up Krishnananda Singh, but the striker failed to finish his effort. Bengaluru FC’s Rohit Kumar came close to opening the score. But his powerful drive struck the crossbar and bounced out, leaving the midfielder unhappy.

The Blues pushed forward in the second half in quest of the first goal, but RoundGlass Punjab FC custodian Kiran Limbu stood tall between the posts to keep Simon Grayson’s side at bay. The Nepalese custodian saved close-range efforts from Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh, but the deadlock was finally broken in the 66th minute when Limbu parried substitute Pablo Perez’s powerful header, but this time Udanta Singh headed the ball in on the rebound to give the Hero ISL finalists the lead.

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To make matters worse for RoundGlass Punjab FC, Huidrom Noacha Singh was sent off after receiving his second yellow card for a foul on Namgyal Bhutia. Eventually, deep into stoppage time, Javi Hernandez increased his goal tally by easily converting his penalty from the spot after being pulled down in the box by Mohammad Salah.

The Blues won all three points after an amazing effort against a tenacious RoundGlass Punjab FC.

Battle of the Rivals

Bengaluru FC met Kerala Blasters FC in the last Group A match, needing to win to go to the semi-finals.

After a solid start, the Blues tightened their hold on the game when Javi Hernandez’s darting run set up Roy Krishna, who tucked it home in the 21st minute to give the Blues the lead. After the initial goal, the hosts attempted to take control of the game and came close to increasing their lead. But Roshan Singh missed his chance after Udanta Singh set up the full-back for the shot.

The Blasters put up a much better performance in the second half. Attempting to push Sandhu into the Blues goal, but the tall custodian stayed firm to protect his goal. Kerala Blasters FC’s efforts were rewarded in the 77th minute. When the Blues failed to cross into the penalty area. And Dimitrios Diamanatakos’ looping header past Sandhu to tie the game.

The game concluded 1-1, and the Blues advanced to the semi-finals following RoundGlass. Punjab FC defeated Sreenidi Deccan FC in the last group match, while Bengaluru FC topped a difficult group.

Ticket to the Grand Finale

Bengaluru FC met high-flying Jamshedpur FC in the semi-finals. The Men of Steel were the league’s only unbeaten team. Having won all three of their group stage matches, and the semi-final looked poised to be a show.

Aidy Boothroyd’s men got off to a strong start. With Gurpreet Singh Sandhu stopping Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ attempt and Daniel Chima Chukwu failing to convert the rebound. With Sandhu making the double save to preserve the clean sheet. The first half finished with no goals scored since neither team could muster anything solid.

Both sides became more relentless in their assaults in the second half in order to score the first goal. Bengaluru FC scored first, with Jayesh Rane rising highest to head the ball past TP Rehenesh from a looping cross. The Men of Steel pursued the ball for an equaliser. But it was the Blues who delivered the fatal blow to Boothroyd’s squad in the 83rd minute. When Sunil Chhetri struck to take the game away from Jamshedpur FC.

On Tuesday, Bengaluru FC will face Odisha FC in the Hero Super Cup final. It will be at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala.

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