What's the story?
Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri's magnificent hattrick propelled the Blues into the ISL final, a match that is set to take place at their home ground, the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. The highlight of Chhetri's performance was the second goal, a penalty dinked over the keeper.
However, it was what he did after scoring this goal that caught everyone's attention.
In case you didn't know...
Panenka is a penalty technique where the forward chips the ball lightly, deceiving the goalkeeper and is generally placed in the centre of the goal. It was done for the first time by Czech player Antonin Panenka, after whom the kick has been named, in the 1976 UEFA European Championship.
The heart of the matter
Sunil Chhetri scored a 'Panenka' goal in the second half of the second leg of the semi-final against FC Pune City in the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. Bengaluru FC were leading 1-0 at the time of the penalty kick and Chhetri doubled the lead for the home side with a well-taken 'spot-kick to beat Vishal Kaith in the goal.
After scoring the goal, Chhetri apologetically put up his hand towards Kaith, displaying a great gesture of respect for his fellow national team colleague.
Sunil Chhetri had earlier given Bengaluru FC the lead with a header goal in the 15th minute of the match. Chhetri was a constant threat to the Pune defence and earned the penalty in the second half of the match. He was brought down inside the box with a push in the back by Sarthak Golui of FC Pune City and went down only after going off balance.
He added another goal in the 89th minute as he completed his hat-trick to make it 3-1 on the night for Bengaluru as they entered the final of the ISL.
Bengaluru FC became the first side to enter the ISL 2017/18 final and will take on the winner between Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa on March 17 in Bengaluru.
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Sunil Chhetri is without a doubt the classiest player in Indian football, demonstrated by his grit to attempt the 'Panenka' in such a crucial fixture and the following gesture towards Vishal Kaith shows his respect for his compatriots.