Striker Sunil Chhetri played like a crazed man as his superb hat-trick ensured a convincing 3-1 win for Bengaluru FC against FC Pune City in an entertaining second leg semi-final of this year’s Indian Super League.
The Indian captain reserved his finest for the big day as he struck in the 15th, 65th and 89th minute to seal the issue for the ISL debutants.
For Pune City, on the other hand, midfielder Jonatan Luca scored through a brilliant free-kick in the 82nd-minute to raise visions of a comeback which didn’t happened in the end.
The 33-year-old, Chhetri opened the deadlock in 15th-minute after an agile Udanta Singh kept a tidy cross on the far post.
Chhetri got his 12th goal of the tournament and the second for his side in the 65th minute with a penalty. He cunningly stepped up and executed from the dreaded spot to beat Vishal Kaith.
The skipper was brought down by his India teammate Sarthak Golui with a push from the back after Chhetri had stolen possession on the wide left before getting into the box.
Chhetri could have had another goal with a curler in the 72nd minute which was saved by a diving Kaith.
Where Pune City has a couple of chances before Bengaluru FC could settle down into the match. They had a great opportunity in the 30th-minute as striker Emiliano Alfaro picked out Marcelinho’s run into the box on the left. The forward flashed a cross across the face of the goal from the by-line, but there was nobody to meet it.
Pune also missed another great chance in 55th-minute as Sarthak’s cross from the right was an inch too high for an unmarked Alfaro at the far post.
Though, Pune had a chance in the sixth minute as defender Sahil Panwar shot over the bar after Alfaro controlled the ball inside the box off a corner before laying the ball off.
Pune also showed their desperation to get into the match after conceding the goal, as they received three yellow cards including Diego Carlos, who indulged in the most disgraceful acts.
He fouled Udanta but refused to go away after the referee ordered him to go away. Sahil and Rafael López Gómez were other players yellow carded.
About the Author
Tanya Attri is a sports journalist who lives in Sonipat and working
for Sports Flashes. She has also worked with Times of India for 5
months as a Junior Editor. She is a sports freak and writes for all
the sports but has special liking for badminton.