The first semifinal of the Super Cup between I-League side East Bengal and Indian Super League outfit FC Goa ended with the Kolkata giants winning by a solitary goal at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Nigerian striker MacPherlin Dudu Omegbemi scored the winner in the 78th minute. East Bengal now await the winners of the second semifinal between archrivals Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC which is to be played on Tuesday.
The first-half ended goallessly with East Bengal having better chances with Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna missing the first real chance of the half in the 19th minute but he failed to tap in a cross from inside the box by teammate and Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa.
A minute later Dudu broke free from an Al Amna flicked header but with just the goalkeeper and Hero of the Match Laxmikant Kattimani to beat, he hit straight at him.
Katsumi Yusa then missed two gilt-edged chances in the 33rd and 35th minutes. FC Goa also had a chance in added time but Ferran Corominas’ hit the post from an acute angle after his solo run.
East Bengal continued to press hard for a goal in the second half and Dudu and Katsumi again missed at golden opportunities to score between them — the Nigerian being the more profligate.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 78th minute when another quality cross from the left flank by Katsumi found Dudu who tapped in past Kattimani.
Meanwhile, FC Goa captain Eduardo Bedia was sent off in the second half after receiving his second yellow card of the match.