Pune, Bengaluru play out a goalless draw in the first leg
FC Pune City and Bengaluru FC played out a 0 – 0 draw at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Wednesday, in the first leg of the first semi-final of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18.
The match had a stop-start beginning to it as both the teams failed to bring the game under their control. The first real chance came on the half-hour mark when Bengaluru captain Sunil Chhetri stepped up for a free-kick and curled it over the wall and on target. But Pune custodian Vishal Kaith came up with a stunning one-handed save at full stretch to deny him.
Eight minutes later, Pune fashioned a chance when Ashique Kuruniyan won the ball in midfield and cut in from the right, but his eventual shot went way over the target. That proved to be the last bit of action from a cagey first half as the teams went into the break without the deadlock being broken.
Six minutes after the restart, Bengaluru had a glorious chance when following a corner, the ball was headed into the box by Boithang Haokip. Both Chhetri and Juanan were in a good position to head into an empty net, but they came in each other’s’ way and the chance went begging.
The hosts had a good chance themselves with a quarter of an hour left. Marcelinho squared the ball from the right for substitute Isaac Vanmalsawma in the middle, but the latter somehow fluffed his lines while facing an empty net.
A few minutes later, Subhasish Bose managed a shot on target from outside the box, but it was directed straight at Kaith, who held on to it with ease. That proved to be the last chance as the match ended without the back of the net being rippled, with mega action awaiting in the second leg to be played at Bengaluru on Sunday.
Club Award: FC Pune City and Bengaluru FC
Swift Limitless Player: Sunil Chhetri
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Sahil Panwar
Amul Fittest Player: Emiliano Alfaro
Emerging Player: Vishal Kaith
Hero of the Match: Marko Stankovic
Watch the match highlights here: