ISL Final: I am in India to win championship, says Bengaluru FC's Miku
Bengaluru FC confirmed their spot in the ISL Final this Sunday, March 17, through a spectacular 3-0 home victory against NorthEast United after losing 2-1 in the first leg in Guwahati.
And Miku, who scored the opening goal in the 72nd minute for Bengaluru with a deft flick, eyes the grand prize - the ISL trophy.
Bengaluru came close to clinching it at home last season but they suffered a shocking loss to Chennaiyin FC. This time though, they appear favourites to go all the way and Miku, who was Bengaluru's top-scorer last season with 15 goals, wants to deliver it for them.
"I am really happy that I play in India and managed to reach two ISL finals in two seasons," Miku, who has 5 goals this season despite missing a big part of it due to injury, told Sportskeeda, "We also reached the Super Cup final. So far, we have lost one final and won once (the Super Cup). Now, I hope to have the second victory in a final. This is the reason i have come here - to win the championship."
Don't care about missed chances - Bengaluru's Miku
The path to the ISL final wasn't a straightforward one for Bengaluru. NorthEast gave them a fight until the very end but once Bengaluru got their first goal through Miku, Eelco Schattorie-coached NEUFC were pegged back and had to push forward to get their goals.
This only made them vulnerable in the back and they ended up conceding two more, through Dimas Delgado and Sunil Chhetri.
Miku could have put Bengaluru ahead as early as the 22nd minute. But he missed a header and a flick two minutes later to put himself under pressure. That showed when he failed to power a shot, despite crossing 5 NorthEast defenders to surge into the box in the 34th minute.
When asked if the missed chances left him disappointed, Miku answered: "No, no. I don't care about that. I forget easily and I forget quite fast. It's a part of football. You can score sometimes and end up missing as well.
The most important part of the game is creating chances. I am happy because my team came together and created more chances and I knew I could score any minute, so I don't care about those first-half misses."
Goa or Mumbai - we'll make it tough for them, says Miku
It was a win for the ages for Bengaluru and Miku, in particular, played a fantastic game of football to send Bengaluru into the final.
Their likely opponents in the summit clash at the Mumbai Football Arena this Sunday will be FC Goa, who have a 5-1 advantage over Mumbai City with the second leg to be played on Tuesday.
Miku says both these teams won't find it easy playing against Bengaluru in the final for the simple reason that they lost in 2017-18 and are desperate to go the full stretch this time.
"I feel happy because we fight in all our games. Goa have a great advantage that's true. But you never know about football - Mumbai can win and surprise us all.
"But any team in the final, it's going to be hard against us. At the end of the season, in the final step, we want to show we're the best. During the regular season, we have already shown that we are top and we want to prove that in the final as well."