Bengaluru FC barged into the final of the Indian Super League (ISL) after defeated NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) 3-0 at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Monday. By making the aggregate 4-2, they will now be competing in final for the second consecutive season.
NEUFC had won the first leg in Guwahati by 2-1. However, taking absorbing the tremendous home support, they won the match convincingly to register a place in the finals.
It was Miku (72′), Dimas Delgado (87′) along with skipper Sunil Chhetri (90+2′) who scored for the home team ensure a win.
Like last season, Bengaluru FC have been at the top of the the ISL table in the competition’s league stage.
After a dominating the first few minutes, Bengaluru were made to defend well by NorthEast. It was Federico Gallego who nicked the ball off the feet of Dimas and ran at the Bengaluru defence. The Uruguayan then fed Juan Mascia into the box. However, with only Gurpreet Singh to beat, the forward hit straight at the goalkeeper from a very narrow angle.
With NEUFC threatening the home through counter-attacks in the first half, Miku failed to convert two glorious chances on the other end.
First of the two came in the 23rd minute, when Nishu Kumar sprung a beautiful cross into the box from the left wing. However, Miku could head the ball only over the bar.
Two minutes later, Udanta Singh, who was released down the right wing, fed to the Venezuelan striker who sent the ball wide from a close-range.
With Bengaluru chasing a goal, NorthEast had to launch their defensive gears as the second half wore on.
Xisco Hernandez crossed the ball from the right wing that was flicked into the Juanan’s path by Harmanjot Khabra. However, the defender only blasted the ball over the bar from point blank range.
With persistent attacks, Bengaluru ultimately found their first goal in the 72nd minute after Khabra found Xisco on the right wing.
The Spaniard then fed Udanta who whipped a timely cross into the box for Miku. The later scored the goal with a faint left-footed finish, breaking the NorthEast United hearts.
Knowing they had to score at least one goal, NorthEast desperately put bodies forward and were caught on a counter by Udanta in the 87th minute. The latter charged into space from his own half and tried to chip the ball. The shot ricocheted off the post into an onrushing Dimas’ path who then slotted home.
The desperate NorthEast were again punished in the added time through Sunil Chhetri. The Indian skipper played a nice one-two with Udanta before dribbling into the box.
With only Pawan Kumar to beat, the veteran striker hit past the goalkeeper into the net to spark raucous celebration from the Bengaluru FC fans.
Bengaluru FC were last season’s runners-ups after losing out to Chennaiyin FC in the final at home.
.@bengalurufc unleashed their attacking wealth in the second half to snatch the #HeroISL Final berth from @NEUtdFC, with a number of players showing their class on the pitch.— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) March 11, 2019
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