ISL 2017/18: Sunil Chhetri explains why he took the 'Panenka' penalty in the Bengaluru FC vs FC Pune City semifinal

  • Sunil Chhetri scored a Zidane-esque goal int he semifinal.
Soumo Ghosh
Modified 11 Mar 2018, 22:58 IST

Sunil Chhetri scored a
Sunil Chhetri scored a 'Panenka' penalty against FC Pune City. (Photo: ISL)

What's the story?

Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri captivated one and all with his incredible 'Panenka' penalty, that extended his side's lead over FC Pune City to two goals in the second leg of the semifinal at the Sree Kanteerava, in Bengaluru, on Sunday.

However, the BFC and Indian national team skipper later explained that he had taken the fancy spot kick, not to play to the crowd, but to score the goal.

In case you didn't know...

Bengaluru FC earned a 3-1 victory against FC Pune City in the second leg of their semifinal, after the first leg in Pune ended in a 0-0 draw. This victory puts the Blues in their first ever ISL final, which also happens to be in their debut season in the league.

The heart of the matter

Chhetri's 'Panenka' penalty had amazed one and all, and fans even started comparing him to former Italy, AC Milan and Juventus legend Andrea Pirlo, and ex-France captain and current Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

However, when asked about the goal, Chhetri remained as humble as ever, stating that it was not his intention to be "cheeky". Rather, he was merely trying to figure out a way to out-fox Pune keeper Vishal Kaith, who also happens to be his teammate in the national team.

"Somebody said I was being cheeky. But I wasn't being cheeky. Vishal (Kaith) knows me, and how I take penalties. So I really had to be careful about this. It wasn't me trying to be cheeky or trying to play to the fans. All I wanted was a goal for my team," said Chhetri after the match.

"Everybody's watching videos, and trying to figure you out these days. But thank God that ball went in, and was out of his grasp," he further said.

What's next?

Having made it to the final of the ISL 2017/18 season, Bengaluru FC will now consider themselves as one of the favourites to win the title -- not only because they finished at the top of the league, but also because the summit clash will be played at their home ground.

Author's take

Chhetri may have out-foxed Kaith with the 'Panenka' penalty, but he also showed his class by immediately going over to his national side teammate to apologise for taking the penalty in such a manner.

Published 11 Mar 2018, 22:58 IST
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