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Amidst all the dark clouds looming over Indian football and the conflict of interest between the I-League clubs and the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the Super Cup has produced a memorable fixture which will raise some eyebrows among in the football fraternity.
The clash of the champions was a highly anticipated match which lived up to its expectations, with the best team having the last laugh. Chennai City FC has been phenomenal this season under the supervision of Singaporean tactician Akbar Nawas and they recreated a similar display even in the Super Cup with their Spanish trio once again at the thick of things. Spanish playmaker, Nestor Gordillo’s strike gave Chennai City FC the lead in the 15th minute. Bengaluru FC got an opportunity to restore parity early in the second after they were awarded a penalty, but star striker Sunil Chhetri’s shot was well guarded by Mauro Boerchio. Pedro Manzi, the best forward of the I-League this season, showed his class once again by scoring a stunner in the 55th minute to double the lead for the south Indian outfits. Even though Sunil Chhetri pulled one back for Bengaluru FC, the I-League winners had the held on till the end and secured their place in the last four of the Super Cup. Several clubs including Kolkata giants East Bengal jointly refused to field their respective teams in the Super Cup as a mark of protest against the bias shown by the AIFF towards the I-League clubs. This has been a never-ending problem since the inception of the ISL. But the I-League champions responded in style as they not only participated in the Super Cup but also outclassed the much fancied Indian Super League champions with a brilliant show of football.
I-League champions Chennai City FC has defeated Indian Super League champions Bengaluru FC 2-1 in a quarter-final fixture of the ongoing Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium on Thursday evening.