Dempo SC 1-2 Bengaluru FC: The Blues win their first Federation Cup

The reigning I-League champions added another feather to their cap by winning their first Federation Cup...
Bengaluru FC defeated Dempo SC 2-1 at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa to be crowned champions of the 36th Federation Cup. Sunil Chhetri (10') and Robin Singh (65') were the scorers for the winners while Tolgay Ozbey (45+2') scored for the Whites.

Ashley Westwood made one change to his line-up with Siam Hangal being replaced by Thoi Singh.

Arthur Papas too was forced to make a change as Lenny Rodrigues missed out due to suspension with Peter Carvalho coming into the eleven.

It was the Blues who started the game the better of the two sides with Sunil Chhetri going clear down the left before his cross into the box towards Sean Rooney was intercepted in time by Haroon Amiri. 

Just moments later however, Amiri recklessly barged into Eugeneson Lyngodh into the box, clumsily bringing him down and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

The Blues had the lead from the spot in the tenth minute itself when skipper Chhetri converted the penalty with ease, sending Laxmikant Kattimani the wrong way.

The Whites had a chance themselves in the 14th minute when Francis Fernandes made a mazy run down the right and his cross towards the near post could only be headed straight to Lalthuammawia Ralte by a diving Romeo Fernandes.

Ashley Westwood was forced to take off Joshua Walker in the 25th minute due to an injury and put in Robin Singh to make it a three man attack.

Keegan Pereria was alert in defense as he put in a leg to prevent Tolgay Ozbey's searching ball to reach Romeo who had made a run down the right.

Kattimani came to Dempo's rescue in the 31st minute as he tipped over Lyngdoh's bullet shot over the bar. It was the Tolgay show just five minutes later as he weaved past at least four Blues' defenders but scuffed his final shot much to his disappointment as it sailed wide.

The Australian did have the last laugh in the half when he converted a penalty in first half added time to equalise after John Johnson was penalized for tugging Amiri's shirt in the box.

Unfortunately, Tolgay lasted only five minutes in the second half as he had to go off with an injury and was replaced by young Holicharan Narzary thus blunting Dempo's attacking edge in front of goal.

Robin Singh restored the lead in the 65th minute with a thumping header which Kattimani failed to keep out in spite of getting a hand to it. It was a measured Beikhokhei Beingaichho cross that had set up the Indian international for the goal.

It got worse for Dempo as Rowilson Rodrigues was sent off in the 69th minute for a two footed lunge into Thoi Singh.

Chhetri had a glorious opportunity himself in the 73rd minute as his header off a Rooney freekick was parried out for a corner by an alert Kattimani.

It was controversy just two minutes later as Francis Fernandes looked to have handle the ball on the line after John Johnson powered a header from the corner but the referee was having none of it in spite of the protesting Blues' personnel.

On the counter, Dempo themselves spurned a glorious chance as Holicharan Narzary was found in acres of space by Amiri but the striker failed to find the target from point blank range.

In the 87th minute, Bengaluru FC had a chance to bury the game for good but it was Francis who came in the way once more as he blocked Rooney's header on the goal after Kattimani was well beaten from a Lyngdoh free-kick.

In spite of pushing Amiri up front in search of the elusive equaliser, the reigning I-League champions held on and were crowned the champions of the 36th Federation Cup.