Captain Ranti Martins fired in a hat-trick as I-League champions Dempo beat East Bengal 3-1 to lift the Super Cup football tournament in Gurgaon on Wednesday.
Nigerian import Martins scored in the 34th, 38th and 49th minutes to record the first hat-trick in Super Cup after East Bengal had taken the lead in the 23rd minute through Penn Orji.
Dempo, who were playing without key medio Roberto Mendes, pocketed Rs 10 lakh for winning the match between the I-League champions and Federation Cup winners, which was normally played as a season ending tie but was deferred this year.
The win would give Dempo, who won the Cup for the second time today, a boost to their confidence as the I-League begins two days later.
The match, played under flood lights at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium as Delhi's Ambedkar Stadium is hosting Subroto Cup, never rose to any great heights as the two sides were without several key players due to national camp in Dubai for Asian Cup preparation.
All the three goals conceded by East Bengal were from defensive and goalkeeping lapses while their forward line which boasts of players like promising Robin Singh and Australian Tolgay Ozbey, who came in the second half, were largely ineffective.
It was, however, East Bengal who dominated the proceedings in the initial period with a solid-looking defence and some fine moves from the flanks. They took the lead in the 23rd minute after midfielder Orji's left footer, on the half volley, from the edge of the box found the Dempo net.
Dempo, however, did not take much time to equalise, though it was following a miscommunication between East Bengal defender Sunil Kumar and goalkeeper Jayanta Paul.
A long ball from the Dempo half looked harmless as Paul came out of his line to collect the high ball only to collide with his team-mate Sunil and Martins pounced on it to slot the ball into the empty net. Five minute later, the red-and-gold brigade from Kolkata paid the price of another blunder, this time from goalkeeper Paul who failed to collect an Ogba Kalu shot cleanly. The ball rebounded from Paul's hands and an opportunistic Martins was at hand to blast the ball at the back of East Bengal net.
East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan brought in highly-rated Australian Ozbey and Alvito Cunha in place of Budhiram Tudu and Orji in the second period to give more thrust to the attack. The move did not pay much dividends as the Dempo defenders were up to their task.
Instead, East Bengal defence was caught napping again four minutes into the second half following a Dempo attack from the right flank. Peter Cavarlho sent a square pass after collecting the ball from the right flank and Martins got the better of his marker to place the ball pass East Bengal goalkeeper Paul, who looked vulnerable all through the match.
Towards the close, a desperate East Bengal made some threatening moves at the Dempo goal with a strike from Ozbey just being palmed away by Dempo goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Rafi was declared the best player of the I-League while Subrata Paul was named the best goalkeeper. Churchill Brothers hitman Odafe Okolie was chosen the best forward and he was also the highest scorer.
Best defender award went to Luciano Sabrosa while Dempo's Anthony Pereira was named best midfielder. Dempo's Armando Colaco was adjudged the best coach while the Fair Play Trophy went to JCT.