Super Cup Final – East Bengal Crowned Champions after edging out Odisha FC 3-2 in Extra Time


East Bengal FC ended their 12 years-long trophy drought and a long-awaited return to Asia as they clinched the Kalinga Super Cup 2024 after beating Defending Champions Odisha FC 3-2 in a thrilling and action-packed final on Sunday, January 28th at a packed and electric Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar.

East Bengal vs Odisha FC

As far as finals go, East Bengal and Odisha FC produced one of the most memorable finals in recent years of Indian Football as both the teams battled it out till extra time. Odisha FC fans attended in large numbers but the home advantage was not very obvious because of the large number of traveling East Bengal fans in the stadium. Goals, strong tackles, red cards, controversial decisions, and an explosion of emotions were on full display as the Red and Gold Brigade confirmed their return to not just Asia, but also to the cream of India Football after a decade of disappointing performances and results.

The match started with end-to-end action from both teams with Odisha FC hitting East Bengal on the counter and creating the best of the chances from time to time. This resulted in Odisha opening the scoring after Borja missed a clearance, gifting an easy chance to Diego Mauricio, who blasted the ball into the goal and gave the Juggernauts the lead in the 35th minute of the game. Even though East Bengal was getting a few chances and openings, Odisha FC had everything in control and looked like the better side in the first half as Odisha FC maintained their lead into the break.

East Bengal Manager Carles Cuadrat received a huge boost in the form of Mahesh Naorem, who was back in the red and gold kit after the AFC Asian Cup campaign and was subbed on in the second half. Mahesh created an instant impact after coming on. He showed exactly what East Bengal missed throughout the tournament by providing a brilliant assist as Nandha comfortably went past Odisha’s goalkeeper Mawia Ralte and equalized the game for the Kolkata Giants in the 51st minute.

East Bengal fans were rocking as the momentum of the game shifted completely after this goal. East Bengal continued their attacks as Odisha FC’s center-back Mourtada Fall succumbed and conceded a soft penalty. Saul Crespo made no mistake and slotted the penalty home in the 62nd minute as East Bengal took the lead in the game for the first time.
East Bengal was in control and had the momentum and things went from bad to worse for Odisha FC, after Mourtada Fall received his second yellow card because of a dangerous elbow and Odisha FC was reduced to 10 men in the 68th minute.

East Bengal vs Odisha Super Cup

East Bengal were preparing to see out the match with their lead but with just the last minute of additional time remaining, East Bengal’s goalkeeper Prabsukhan Gill conceded a penalty. Juggernaut’s talisman Ahmed Jahouh calmly converted the penalty with a panenka kick and took the game into extra time in dramatic fashion.

Sergio Lobera’s side got a much-needed boost in confidence and they continued their momentum into the extra time phase as well. As if the match was not dramatic enough, East Bengal’s experienced customer, Souvik Chakrabarti got marching orders too after he received his second yellow card in the 96th minute, seconds after his effort almost put East Bengal in the lead.
Odisha FC continued to dominate the game and create chances. However, Odisha’s Narender Gehlot made a massive error inside his own box, giving the ball away to East Bengal’s main man Cleiton Silva, who slotted it past Mawia and scored the winner for The Red and Gold Brigade, leading them to their maiden Super Cup title.

Super Cup Final - East Bengal Crowned Champions after edging out Odisha FC 3-2 in Extra Time WhatsApp Image 2024 01 29 at 8.39.46 AM

The emotions were high as the passionate East Bengal fans in the stadium could not hold their tears back. With this win, Carles Cuadrat became the first manager after the legendary Trevor Morgan, to win a major competition with the Red and Gold Brigade. East Bengal also secured a spot in the AFC Champions League 2 next season. East Bengal would hope to use this triumph as a boost for the remainder of the ISL season and also for the Kolkata Derby in the following week.

Odisha FC fans were heartbroken as their team was unable to defend the Super Cup title, especially at home. However, Sergio Lobera has a lot of positives to take away from this campaign, with the brilliant form of Diego Mauricio, and Ahmed Jahouh and especially with the emergence of Isak Vanlalruatfela, who also won the Player of the Tournament Award. If Lobera’s men continue their form and great performances, they will be one of the top contenders to win the ISL this season.

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