BFC ride on late strikes

BFC ride on late strikes

Miku, Udanta find targets in injury time to hand Blasters 2-0 win

BFC ride on late strikes

It was dubbed the match of the league stage and it did live up to its billing as Bengaluru FC's late charge handed them a 2-0 win over Kerala Blasters FC.

All roads led to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Thursday as a record-shattering 25,373 packed the stands and were treated to some late drama with Miku (90+1) and super-sub Udanta Singh (90+3) giving Bengaluru a confidence-boosting victory ahead of the semifinals.

A disappointing result for Kerala, who fought valiantly throughout the game, meant they ended their ISL campaign with 25 points from 18 fixtures, while leaders BFC grabbed their 13thwin to finish with 40 points (one draw, four losses).

Despite being a dead rubber even before it started, the enthusiastic fan bases of both clubs were expected to light up the game, off the pitch, and they did just that as chants began ringing around the venue an hour and a half before the kick-off.

The opening salvo was end-to-end with both sides showing intent but neither could find a way of breaking the deadlock.

Sunil Chhetri came close in the 10th  minute with a rasping drive from distance. After collecting the ball in midfield, the Bengaluru skipper took a couple of touches and unleashed a left-footed shot that flew just wide of Kerala custodian Paul Rachubka's right post.

Egged on by a massive 8,000-odd away fans, the Blasters pushed forward in the 13th  minute through the lively Jackichand Singh, who was stretchered off with an injury 10 minutes later. Jackichand found space on the left and made a run into the box before squaring it to CK Vineeth. But the chance was squandered by the former BFC frontman after he took a wild swipe with his left and completely missed the ball.

It was fairly even through the rest of the half with incidents being few and far between, and fans seemingly content with the proceedings.

More of the same followed after the break with both defences averting danger, while maintaining their composure.

Youngster Udanta's off-target header in the 75th  minute was the most notable chance until that point.

In the 88th  minute, Venezuelan striker had the BFC faithful on the edge of their seats with a solo run on the right flank. After getting into a great position, Miku's shot sneaked wide of the far post, much to the relief of the Blasters.

But the relief was temporary as Miku was back three minutes later to torment the Kerala defence and, this time, he found the net to leave them deflated.

Spaniard striker Daniel Segovia delightfully laid off a Dimas Delgado pass into the path of Miku and after taking a touch, he finished neatly to grab his 14th  goal of the season.

It was almost as if the Blasters had switched off and with a minute of added time left, Udanta's left-footed strike found the right corner to land a double whammy on the visitors.

An exciting game with passionate fans was on display but what topped it all off was the gesture shown by the BFC squad as Chhetri led his men around the stadium and applauded every stand, regardless of whom they supported, as chants of 'Chhetri, Chhetri' reverberated around the Kanteerava.



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