It’s Semi-Final time baby! Ok, I must admit that opening sentence was quite bad, however, you have to sit through Jake’s articles daily so I think you have come to tolerate bad sentences. Anyway, before I get sacked, let’s get back to the Super Cup action, with the first Semi-Final being played between ISL side FC Goa and I-League side East Bengal. Surprisingly, I haven’t written about the I-League side since the competition started, so let’s get straight to it and tick them off my list.
Road To The Semis…
I’ll start this section off with the home side and I-League side East Bengal. They began their Super Cup run against ISL side Mumbai City. They managed to beat them 2-1, however, it wasn’t the easiest of games. Mumbai took the lead on twenty-two minutes through Emana. However, goals from Katsumi and Amnah either side of half-time won the game for East Bengal.
The win against Mumbai lead them to a Quarter-Final tie against fellow I-League side Aizawl. The game was pretty boring with both teams struggling to break each other down. East Bengal scored late on, specifically on ninety-six minutes, through a penalty which was converted by Ralte.
FC Goa had a much more entertaining run to the Semi-Finals with their first game being against fellow ISL side ATK. Coro gave Goa the lead just before half-time. ATK’s player-manager Robbie Keane equalised just after the break to get ATK back into the game. However, goals from Boumous and Brandon Fernandes gave Goa a comfortable 3-1 win over ATK.
Goa’s win against ATK set up another all-ISL clash in the Quarter-Finals, this time against Jamshedpur. It’s safe to say this is the greatest football game of all time. There were six goals in the game and the same amount of red cards, yes you have read that right, there were six red cards. Brandon Fernandes gave Goa the lead on thirty-four minutes and the game looked to be staying that way, heading into half-time. However, the referee ruled out a clear goal for Fernandes which sparked all hell. Three players from both sides were sent off during a mass brawl in the tunnels at halftime. Both managers were not happy what so ever.
With the game being reduced to an 8v8 situation, it was clear Goa were going to win the game. Coro scored from the penalty spot and put Goa 2-0 up. Boumous got a brace in the game and Manvir Singh added a fifth before Biswas scored a late goal for Jamshedpur. The game ended 5-1 and set Goa up for their first match against an I-League side in this competition.
The Game Itself…
East Bengal, in my opinion, seem a very similar side to Jamshedpur. By that I mean they don’t score that many goals and rarely concede in high amounts. Goa, on the other hand, are my perfect team. If I was a football manager, which I wish I was, I would set my side up just like Goa. Play brilliant attacking football and just simply outscore your opponents.
I can see this game being similar to the Jamshedpur game, with Goa cruising to a win. However, I don’t think it will have as many goals and certainly not as many red cards.
East Bengal seem to be a team without a true superstar player, also similar to Jamshedpur. However, they do have some threat. I would say the main person Goa will have to look out for is Katsumi as he scored a fair few in the I-league last season and he seems to be able to find the net against ISL sides in this competition.
Goa, on the other hand, have some fantastic players. Unfortunately, one of those players are not in the Super Cup squad, however, they seem to be doing perfectly without him. Coro is their main threat and it may surprise you to hear I have not chosen the striker for my key player. Instead, I have gone for Hugo Boumous, he has seemed to find his form in the past few games and seems to have found his goal-scoring boots in this competition. If I was East Bengal, I would watch him closely, but not too close as that’s when Coro will strike.
With all this being said, I will simply leave you with this. I honestly believe we may see an all ISL final, specifically one that I would have much rather seen in the ISL Playoff Final. I can’t see East Bengal causing Go too much trouble and see Goa coming out as 3-0 winners.