Sunil Chhetri brace created history,Bengaluru FC become first Indian club to play in AFC Cup final
Bengaluru FC booked their name in history books after becoming the first football club from India to reach the final of AFC Cup. Defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim trailing a goal from first leg played at home was completely outclassed by Bengaluru FC as they lose 3-1 in the second leg of the semi-final in Banglaore on Wednesday. Bengaluru based club goes into the final winning 4-1 aggregate to face Iraq’s Air Force Club on November 5. Club captain Sunil Chhetri led from the front, scoring two goals on either side of the half to put Bengaluru in the lead and Joanan sealed the game with a header in the 75th minute.
Bengaluru FC, a club which came into existence just three years back is flying high with its success. They have already established their name in India winning two back to back I-league championship, and now they are a game away from winning the hearts of Asian football fans. They will play the final of AFC Cup against Iraq’s Air Force Club on November 5, although venue of the match is still to be decided through a draw.
Bengaluru dominate the possession at home, but it was JDT who opened the scoring through Shafiq Rahim in the 11th minute. Safiq scored from a thunderous strike from the right side, although it was straight into BFC goalie Amrinder hand but he made an error to let the ball go over him and into the goal after taking his hand.
Bengaluru frustrated with losing their away goal lead that early hit back when Chhetri equalised in the 40th minute with a header. He had a couple of misses before the goal, but he brought his A-game at the right time, and Bengaluru went into the tunnel with their aggregate(2-1) goal lead in half-time tied 1-1.
Chhetri first was a header, but his second was one of his best strike. He scored a stunning goal from some distance outside of the box which drilled down at the right time to go into the net, leaving no chance for Johor Darul Ta’zim goalkeeper to make a save. From the left corner of the box, Chhetri moved backwards and fired in a shot on the turn, some 30 yards from the goal. The shot went like a rocket and into the top left corner to give BFC the lead.
Joanan headed home the third goal and sealed the game to earn Bengaluru FC a place in the AFC Cup final knocking out defending champions JDT. Well, Bengaluru have enough time to prepare for final, as they will face Iraq’s Air Force Club after fifteen days, on November 5.