Raw pace is a gift bestowed upon wingers by football gods so as to torment full-backs at every chance they get. Not all players are pacey and not everyone who has speed know how to use their pace effectively when running up and down the flanks.
In Laldanmawia Ralte and Udanta Singh, the 2018 Super Cup finalists Bengaluru FC and East Bengal have got two of India's quickest players operating on the right side of the pitch. And it will be a sight to behold when they are put to the test in the final on Friday.
Ralte impressed at Aizawl in I-League last season. He was an integral part of Khalid Jamil's miraculous title-winning squad and when the manager jumped ships to Kolkata-based giants East Bengal in the summer of 2017, the right winger followed suit.
His pace, agility and an eye for goal secured his place in the starting line-up at East Bengal. In his 14 appearances in I-League (out of possible 18), he would often start on the right flank before switching positions with Katsumi Yusa. His trickery combined with sheer pace has proven to be quite an asset for the Red and Gold brigade in their journey to the final of the Super Cup.
Possessing a similar skillset à la his right-wing counterpart from East Bengal, the 21-year-old has spent the majority of his career at Bengaluru and their faith in the youngster has born fruit.
While the Mizoram-born Ralte arguably has a better end product in front of goal, the Manipuri winger has slotted into a terrific front-three at Bengaluru this season.
Udanta has combined really well with Miku and Sunil Chhetri in Bengaluru's attacking arsenal. His meagre goal return (a goal each in ISL and Super Cup so far) has never been an issue as Miku and Sunil Chhetri has banged goals in for fun. Udanta's job has been to supply and he has done that remarkably well. With seven assists in ISL, he was joint-top in the assists' chart alongside Marcelinho.
Both Udanta and Danmawia have starred in the road to the final for their respective teams.
Udanta Singh scored the match-winner against Gokulam Kerala in added time of the Round-of-16 clash. He fizzed a low cross across the face of goal to provide Sunil Chhetri with the opening goal against NEROCA in the next round. And it was the right winger that kick-started Bengaluru's incredible fightback in their semi-final against Mohun Bagan. He crossed for Miku as he grabbed his first goal in the hat-trick.
Ralte's involvement has been as crucial as Udanta's if not more. He assisted both the goals as East Bengal came back from behind to register a 2-1 win over Mumbai City in the pre-quarter round. A terrific cross into the box from the right by Ralte was headed in by Katsumi for the equaliser before the 25-year-old struck a venomous shot that Amrinder parried into the path of Al-Amna for East Bengal's match-winner.
The former Aizawl winger then scored a late added-time match-winner to knock his former club out of the Super Cup in the quarter-final.
These two pacey wingers will look to dazzle on the right flank this Friday. Can either of them inspire their team to the title?