Hoping for a great game in final, says Cuadrat

Bengaluru FC players celebrate their win in the ISL semifinal on Monday. DH photo/ B H Shivakumar

Spaniard Carles Cuadrat was a happy man after guiding Bengaluru FC to a second successive final of the Indian Super League (ISL).

The level of dominance was impressive in BFC's 3-0 win over NorthEast United FC in the second leg of the semifinal on Monday, with the hosts controlling 55 per cent of the ball possession. The 1-2 loss that Cuadrat side's suffered in Guwahati didn't seem to be a factor during the clash.

Players were calm and followed the plan charted out by the Spaniard, who was pretty clear how the game would play out at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

"We knew the game will be like this and we were patient with the ball and we were trying to score. We knew they would defend and try to counter-attack," said Cuadrat. "It was a typical second-leg semifinal where they tried to counter-attack. At halftime, I told the players to keep calm and try scoring because we were creating the chances. We missed three, four clear chances in the first half. In the second half, we scored the first goal and then the other two from counter-attacks. Overall I am happy," he added.

BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri, who completed the turnaround with a composed strike, echoed his coach's views. "I think we were calmer than usual. If till the 70th minute you don't get a goal, generally there is panic but the kind of chances we got in the first half made us believe we were going to get chances. But the moment I started panicking, Miku came with the goal," Chhetri said.

"Coach Carles told us this is how the first half is going to be -- cagey and jittery -- because they are a very good side. Getting that first goal was important. I think that broke their morale and then we got the goals in counter. So I think everything else went according to the plan."

That painful defeat to Chennaiyin FC in the final last season still lingers in Chhetri's mind. "You know last year, we lost the final here. We were too emotional but still, I kept my calm and said we will start working hard for the next season," said Chhetri.

BFC will most likely meet FC Goa, who hold a 5-1 advantage over Mumbai City FC, in the final on Sunday and Cuadrat is relishing the challenge. "Final is a completely different story. You know Goa. They have a really good team with a very good coach. For us, who are from Barcelona, to be here in the country and playing in the final, is nice. It shows the work that we have put in. I am hoping for a great game," said the BFC coach.

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Hoping for a great game in final, says Cuadrat

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