Hero Super Cup Final: Key battles to watch out for in Bengaluru FC vs Odisha FC
Bengaluru FC and Odisha FC look to battle it out in the Hero Super Cup final at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala on Tuesday for what looks set to be an intriguing clash between the two Hero Indian Super League (ISL) sides.
Both teams will be delighted with how their seasons have unfolded so far. A win in the Hero Super Cup final wouldn’t only see them clinching the coveted trophy, but also present them an opportunity to play the play-off against Gokulam Kerala FC for a place in the group stage of the 2023–24 AFC Cup.
Having already beaten Mumbai City FC in the Durand Cup final, the Blues are on the verge of achieving the domestic cup double on Tuesday. A victory for Clifford Miranda’s side, on the other hand, will see them etch their names in the history books by adding the first silverware to their trophy cabinet.
Ahead of the game, here are three key battles to watch out for in the Hero Super Cup final.
Sandesh Jhingan vs Diego Mauricio
Mauricio is arguably one of the most in-form strikers in Indian football and his attacking intuition has been outstanding in the Hero Super Cup so far. After bagging the Golden Boot award in the Hero ISL earlier in the campaign, the Brazilian has maintained his goalscoring prowess in the Hero Super Cup.
Mauricio netted three goals in four appearances so far. Monitoring his movement in the final third is going to be an uphill task as he could use his pace or dribbling skill to break the opponent's defence. Similarly, he has a knack for shooting from distance as well and Jhingan will definitely have his work cut out for him.
The Indian international will have to keep him under close watch if he is determined to keep the Odisha FC attacker silent in this tie. However, Jhingan is experienced and his defensive instinct has been remarkable in the competition. It will be interesting to see how he matches up against Mauricio in this tie.
Javi Hernandez vs Princeton Rebello
Hernandez is currently one of the best-attacking medios in the country and his masterclass in midfield is one of the reasons why he remains one of the players to watch out for in this encounter. The 33-year-old has netted two goals in four appearances so far in Hero Super Cup.
His vision and ability to break any defensive set-up are remarkable. But what makes him more dangerous is his work ethic in the opposition half. His passing has been superb, especially his ability to play through balls that provide chances for others in the final third.
Monitoring his movements near the penalty area has always been difficult and Rebello will surely have a tough night against the Spaniard. Rebello has been a vital cog for Miranda who has solidified Odisha FC’s backbone by shielding their defensive line. The midfielder needs to put in a solid performance in the middle of the park to see through his team in the final.
Roy Krishna vs Carlos Delgado
Krishna has had a difficult start to his Bengaluru FC career, but as the season progressed the Fijian striker rediscovered some of his lost confidence. With six goals and five assists, Krishna played a pivotal role in the Blues' astonishing run in the Hero ISL. He also got his name on the scoresheet against Kerala Blasters FC in their final group-stage game of the Hero Super Cup.
Krishna might not be a regular goalscorer for the Blues this season, but he is still the biggest attacking threat for his side. Stopping him in attack will be tough as he's very fast and vigorous with the ball at his feet.
However, Delgado has been a rock at the back for the Juggernauts this season and the Odisha FC keeper could definitely match Krishna’s physical strength. He also possesses immaculate game-reading skills and he hardly provides space for the attackers to stretch their legs.
Seeing these two go at one another is certain to be one of the biggest highlights of the final.