Chhetri runs the show to pile further misery on Pune

Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri had a match to remember as his side ran out comprehensive winners against hosts FC Pune City, beating the Stallions 3-0 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Tuesday.

  • The Bengaluru skipper opened the floodgates with a neat finish in the 41st
  • He doubled the lead two minutes later, after being set up by striker partner Miku.
  • The Venezuelan rounded off the win in the 64th minute, taking the match away from the home team.

The home side hadn’t beaten Bengaluru in any of their past four encounters and certainly rode their luck in the first 30 minutes as Carles Cuadrat’s men failed to create any clear-cut chances. It was the home side who dominated early proceedings through the strike partnership of Marcelo Pereira and Emiliano Alfaro. However, apart from a fantastic free-kick which was emphatically saved by Bengaluru No.1 Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the duo failed to provide any real spark.

Bengaluru, despite having less possession, created decent chances, predominantly through the tireless running on the right-hand side by Udanta Singh. The Indian winger setup Chhetri with a glorious through ball, but he failed to apply the finishing touch to what would have been a deserved lead for the visitors.

However, as the match wore on, influential Bengaluru midfielder Dimas Delgado found space and eventually set up Chhetri at the 41st minute mark with a pinpoint ball over the top. The Indian captain made no mistake this time around, poking home from inside the box to hand his side the lead. Things turned from bad to worse for the home side minutes later, when Miku powered his way through Pune’s midfield before releasing Chhetri, who cut inside to double his side’s advantage and enter the breather with a 2-0 lead.

The second half began at a much slower tempo than the first, partly due to the visitors’ commanding lead, who looked much calmer in and out of position. Pune talisman Pereira had a speculative effort saved by Sandhu in the 52nd minute, apart from which they rarely had a shot of note in the early proceedings of the second half.

Cruising through and looking ever so comfortable, Bengaluru supporters found another reason to cheer in the 64th minute, as Miku pounced on a hopeful clearance and fought off Sahil Panwar to smash his team into a three-goal lead. With nothing to lose, the home side created another opening in the 72nd minute when Sarthak Golui found Jonathan Vila at the edge of the Bengaluru box, but the subsequent effort was saved by the Sandhu. The visitors led themselves in trouble six minutes later, but were bailed out once again by their goalkeeper, who stood up fantastically to a low Pereira shot.

In the dying minutes of the match, Chhetri almost scored his hat-trick, but a brilliant save from Vishal Kaith kept him at bay. With that last major action, the referee blew for the final whistle ensuring Bengaluru kept their unbeaten record against Pune alive.

HERO OF THE MATCH

The Bengaluru skipper has a knack of scoring against Pune and showed his class yet again on Monday, putting in another decisive performance with two well-taken goals. The striker had a total of four shots while boasting of an impressive 62% pass accuracy through the match. With 24 goals in his Hero ISL career, he now sits second to the league’s all-time top-scorer Iain Hume.

CLUB AWARDS

Club award – Bengaluru FC

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Miku

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Dimas Delgado

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Sahil Panwar

Hero of the Match - Sunil Chhetri

WHAT’S NEXT?

FC Pune City travel next to Goa to take on FC Goa on Sunday, while the ever-so-impressive Bengaluru travel to the home of two-time Hero ISL champions ATK next Wednesday. 

Visit our videos section to view the match highlights and the photos section for exclusive images from the match.

Your Comments

Related Stories