BHUBANESWAR: Both the finalists of the Kalinga Super Cup, the host and defending champion Odisha FC and East Bengal, are looking confident to clinch the title in their name at Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday. The Kalinga Warriors and Red and Gold Brigade registered four straight wins to book their place in the final.
In the last 15 matches during ISL, AFC Cup and Kalinga Super Cup the Odisha FC remained unbeaten and scripted 13 wins. Playing in the back to back final of the Super Cup in front of a home crowd is a matter of pride for the Odisha FC team.
“Presently our team is in good shape, we have defeated some good teams like Mohun Bagan SG and Bashundhara Kings in the AFC Cup, and FC Goa and Mumbai City FC in this competition. The final against East Bengal is a big game. I am confident my players are physically and mentally prepared for the big games,” said Odisha FC coach Sergio Lobera in the pre-match Press meet here on Saturday.
As the defending team is under pressure, the coach Lobere said “We do not have any pressure at all, rather we are excited. We have the responsibility to keep the trophy here and the most vital thing is to go all out to enjoy the final tomorrow”.
Nothing is more exciting for the home team to retain their title. “Our fans are very important to us as they play like an extra player of our team. As like other matches, every moment they cheer for us and that’s motivating our team. The final will be a different game, but we are ready to defend the title tomorrow,” said Odisha defender Carlos Delgado, who captained the team to the Super Cup title in Kozhikode last year.
The East Bengal team won their last national title in the 2012 Federation Cup. East Bengal is in good form, unbeaten in their last nine games.
The East Bengal coach Carles Cuadrat said during pre-match press meet, “Both the teams are very consistent in their performance and have the capacity to notch the title, but the fact is that one team is going to lose tomorrow. He also stated that losers find excuses and winners find solutions. The final is always a mind game, we planned our solution for the last game of the Kalinga Super Cup.”