Super Cup | Practised 100 corners, free-kicks and throw-ins for Bengaluru clash, reveals Mauro Boerchio

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Super Cup | Practised 100 corners, free-kicks and throw-ins for Bengaluru clash, reveals Mauro Boerchio

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SportsCafe Desk


Mauro Boerchio has revealed that he had observed Bengaluru FC’s lethality from set-pieces and practised 100 corners, free-kicks and throw-ins from outside the box. Goalkeeping coach VP Sathish Kumar has stated that foreign goal-keepers hap calm the Indian defenders under pressure conditions.

Chennai City produced the biggest upset of the AIFF Super Cup this season when they beat ISL champions Bengaluru FC 2-1 in Bhuvaneshwar to progress to the semi-final. And while it was Pedro Manzi and Nestor whose goals brought an end of the defending champions’ run in the knockout tournament, one couldn’t discount Boerchio’s significant contribution from between the sticks.

Apart from the string of brilliant diving saves and controlled collections from set-pieces throughout the ninety minutes, the Italian won the match for his side by saving Sunil Chhetri’s penalty early in the second half. After the historic feat, the custodian revealed in a TOI interview that he had practised hundreds of set-pieces to be that good.

"Ahead of the game, we studied every Bengaluru player and we understood that they are quite lethal when it comes to set-pieces. My performance was the result of practising 100 corners, 100 free-kicks from outside the box and an equal number of throw-ins. As for saving the Chhetri penalty, I waited till the last moment before committing myself. When I jumped, I was sure about where he was going to shoot," Boerchio said, reported TOI.

While the influx of foreign players has been a norm in Indian leagues for long now, Chennai City FC are amongst the few clubs who relied on foreign acquirements in the goalkeeper’s position. After their first choice Spanish goalkeeper Nauzet Garcia Santana got injured, they stuck to the policy and brought in Boerchio from Neroca on loan. 

The result is in front of everyone now and CCFC goalkeeping coach Kumar has been of the opinion that Boerchio’s experienced helped keep CCFC’s inexperience defence intact in the absence of injured centre-back Roberto Eslava. 

"The defenders are more relaxed when you have a foreign goalkeeper. They know that with the foreign goalkeepers' understanding of the game, they will be safe. The foreigners are more technically sound. So for them, it's only about adjusting to the team.

"At CCFC, we build attacks from the back. So in our team, the goalkeeper is not only our last defender but he is also the first one to start an attack. That means we wanted 'keepers who will not only be fit and agile but also good with their feet.

"You rarely find both these qualities together in Indian goalkeepers. Initially, Boerchio took time to settle down into our system. But now, he has really come into his own," Sathish said.

A crucial moment of the match came very early on when Harmanjot Khabra was seen going into Boerchio with his studs open. The horrific tackle should have seen Khabra being sent off but the defender escaped with a yellow and a sturdy Boearchio came out unharmed. Kumar credited Boerchio’s experience for that. 

“Had there been an Indian goalkeeper, he would surely have been injured. But Boerchio showed good presence of mind and averted a major injury,” said Sathish.

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