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Super Cup: Sreenidi Deccan Ease Past Kerala Blasters, Bengaluru FC Sink RoundGlass Punjab

A sublime finish from Rilwan Hassan and a stunning volley from captain David Castaneda helped Sreenidi Deccan Football Club cruise past Kerala Blasters FC 2-0 in a Group A match of the Super Cup on Wednesday.

In the other Group A match, Bengaluru FC defeated 10-man RoundGlass Punjab FC 2-0 in their second match of the tournament.

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Phalguni Singh, who was adjudged the ’Hero of The Match’, played the role of an anchor in the Sreenidi midfield, controlling the pace of the game and it was he who started the move for their opening goal in the 17th minute.

The midfielder ran a few metres with the ball before passing it on to Hassan. The former Midtjylland player cut inside and beat his marker before letting loose a low shot to the far post to give his side the lead.

Sreenidi thoroughly deserved the lead, having been the more innovative side for the opening period.

Kerala Blasters, in sharp contrast, looked flat in the absence of their talisman, Adrian Luna.

Sreenidi captain David Castaneda made it 2-0 just before half-time.

Hassan was the one to start the move this time, passing the ball wide out to Dinesh Singh on the left flank. The left-back whipped in a curling cross inside the penalty box. While the ball had the requisite venom, it required some more individual brilliance to result in a goal.

Castaneda provided it, rising high and volleying the ball while in mid-air, into the top corner. It may well prove to be the goal of the tournament.

Kerala Blasters tried their best to put together a comeback in the second half, but lacked a cutting edge up front.

Sreenidi goalkeeper Aryan Lamba was called into action in the 68th minute, his fingers deflecting the ball onto the post to deny Mark Leskovic’s header.

The result meant that Sreenidi could secure a spot in the semi-finals if they register a win against Hero I-League champions RoundGlass Punjab FC in their final group game.

Bengaluru FC register first win

In Kozhikode, strikes by Udanta Singh and Mohamed Salah gave Bengaluru their first win of the tournament.

Bengaluru FC, who drew their first match against Sreenidi Deccan, now have four points from two outings.

The first half saw RoundGlass Punjab enjoying a fair share of the ball possession and attempts at the rival goal as well.

Bengaluru FC, meanwhile, had a few good opportunities to find the back of the net. In the 22nd minute, Rohit Kumar displayed great footwork to shrug off a defender only to find his powerful shot from inside the box strike the underside of the crossbar and come back into play.

After switching sides, the Indian Super League 2022-23 finalists started on a better note.

Substitute Roy Krishna led waves of attacks for the Blues and in one instance in the 54th minute, found himself in a good position to score.

The Fijian forward dribbled past goalkeeper Limbu, but Valpuia stepped in time to save his attempt.

Minutes later, Sunil Chhetri came close to scoring after Udanta performed a great run on the right flank and delivered an inch-perfect aerial cross.

However, Kiran Limbu, who was in wonderful form on the night, saved the Blues skipper’s powerful header.

In the 66th minute, Bengaluru found the breakthrough as substitute Pablo Perez’s thumping header was partially parried away by Limbu, but he had no answer for Udanta’s header that gave Simon Grayson’s men a 1-0 lead.

The matters went worse for RoundGlass as in the 78th minute, the referee gave a second yellow card and the red card to Huidrom Naocha Singh for a foul on Namgyal Bhutia.

Eventually, the Blues doubled their lead deep into the stoppage time. Javi Hernandez was brought down inside the box by Mohamed Salah. The Spanish midfielder made no mistake in scoring from the spot to make it 2-0.

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In their final group stage game, the Blues will go up against arch-rivals Kerala Blasters and RoundGlass Punjab will take on Sreenidi Deccan FC.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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