Bengaluru FC sealed their berth in the final of Indian Super League (ISL), after they got the better of FC Pune City with a 3-1 victory at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday.
Bengaluru skipper Sunil Chhetri scored a hat-trick to seal the second leg win and put the Blues just one step away from winning the title in their maiden ISL campaign.
With Pune coach Ranko Popovic’s suspension removed, the game started on an entertaining note. Despite Chhetri having the first chance for the hosts in the the 3rd minute, the the visitors made a good start to the game, but slowly started to lose their way nearing the end of the half.
An unmarked Chhetri opened the scoring for the hosts in the 15th minute after a nimble-footed Udanta Singh kept a neat cross on the far post.
In the 34th minute there was drama on the pitch after Panwar got a much-deserving yellow card for a tackle on Udanta. This angered the visitors and led to Diego Carlos recieving a yellow card.
The Indian captain doubled Bengaluru’s advantage scoring his 12th goal of the tournament in the 65th minute after being awarded a penalty. He then put the icing on the cake scoring once more in the 89th minute.
Jonatan Lucca scored a consolation goal for Pune in the 82nd minute.
Bengaluru coach Albert Roca praised not only Chhetri but the whole team, after the game at a posh post match press conference.
“He is simply outstanding and there are no words to define him.
“In such an important game he stepped up. His age does not matter. He pushes others and shows amazing intensity.
“This is a team game so not just him (Chhetri) but all the people around him did well. The squad, technical staff…all were there (with the team) in such an important game,” Roca said.